His Journey Has Just Begun

Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

My father passed away a few years ago and there isn’t a day that goes past that I don’t think of him. I miss the times that we shared together fishing, traveling, camping, laughing, and doing the plethora of other things that I loved to do with him. He was more than a father to me, he was my buddy, my confidant, my best friend.

Today, I was going through my desk here at home and came across a poem that a friend of mine had shared with us. For some reason, I don’t remember reading it at the time, but after reading it today, it brought a sense of comfort to my heart.

It is for this reason that I felt as though I should share it with other people that may be going through a time of grief, loss, or nostalgia.

So, here is the poem…

“His Journey’s Just Begun”

Don’t think of him as gone away,

His journey’s just begun.

Life holds so many facets,

This earth is only one.

—–

Just think of him as resting,

From the sorrows and the tears.

A place of warmth and comfort,

Where there are no days and years.

—-

Think how he must be wishing,

That we could know today.

How nothing but our sadness,

Can really pass away.

—-

And think of him as living,

In the hearts of those he touched.

For nothing loved is ever lost,

And he was loved so much.

~ Ellen Brenneman

Free Tickets!!

andy-li-A_dJOYpxEVU-unsplash

andy-li-A_dJOYpxEVU-unsplash

Free tickets!! Who wouldn’t want free tickets to a sporting event? An amusement park? A Concert? The following is great “food for thought” for all of us. It was written by a fellow coach.

Super Bowl 39 featured a classic first half defensive battle, followed by a second half offensive shootout between the explosive New England Patriots and the gritty Philadelphia Eagles. New England claimed the Super Bowl title by only 3 points, 24-21. The game lived up to its expectation as the two divisional champs clashed for the title. Two Tickets to the Super Bowl cost between $3,000 and $10,000. With that in mind, if someone offered you two free tickets to the Super Bowl would you take them?

There was an interesting story several years ago about a guy named Greg Laurie who tried to give away an extra ticket on his way into the Magic Kingdom . As his family went into the park, he told his family, “Hold on while I find someone to take this free ticket. This shouldn’t take long!” But time after time he would approach people at the front gate only to be turned down. He was astounded! No one would take his free ticket.

Think about that…isn’t it hard to believe? Who would turn down free tickets to the Magic Kingdom? Well, shortly after moving to Orlando I got a job at the Magic Kingdom, and along with it an employee pass that could sign in 3 people per day to the theme parks for free.

One time a friend visited me and we went to go into EPCOT. As we were about to go in I said, “Wait… let’s see if we can grab two people to come into the EPCOT for free with us!” I approached several couples who looked like they hadn’t purchased tickets yet. I asked them if they’d like to come into EPCOT for free. I was shocked when time after time they would turn me down, often to walk right up to the ticket counter to buy tickets. Can you believe it? It was just like what Greg Laurie described. I was amazed. People just could not accept what seemed like was too good to be true.

It’s the same thing with the Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible says that the Lord has prepared a special place in His Kingdom just for you. All it takes is a “free ticket” to get into the gates. But most people can’t accept that anything that good would be so easy to get. Most people try to get into the Kingdom by being good, or acting a certain way or by living a “good life”. But it’s much easier than that:

To claim your ticket into God’s Kingdom you only have to do two things: 1) Admit that you have sinned in your life and need to be forgiven, and 2) to pray and ask the Lord to forgive your sins and to bring you into His Kingdom. It is just that easy and there is no catch.

Once you have your ticket into the Kingdom, all of your sins past, present and future are washed away and you have a guaranteed spot in a celebration infinitely better than the Super Bowl.

Consider these words from the Bible:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

Your tickets to the Kingdom of Heaven are waiting for you. All you have to do is pick them up. Will you pick up your tickets today?

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

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greg-rakozy-oMpAz-DN-9I-unsplash

Life and death. The two most basic components of every living person and thing on earth. It was once said that the two most certain things in life are death and taxes. Each one of us will pass on from this world someday and we all probably know of someone who has left us.

Unfortunately, there are times when our loved ones leave us suddenly. We never had the chance to say good-bye and share our final thoughts with them.

I came across the following poem in a paper a few years ago and decided to share with it with you today. I hope that it may bring you a measure of peace and comfort…or please feel free to share it with someone who you may think need it.

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

When tomorrow starts without me,

Please try to understand,

That an angel came and called my name,

And took me by the hand

 

The angel said my place was ready,

In Heaven far above,

And that I’d have to leave behind

All those I dearly love.

 

But when I walked through Heaven’s Gates,

I felt so much at home,

For God looked down, smiled at me,

And told me “Welcome Home.”

 

So, when tomorrow starts without me,

Don’t think we’re far apart,

For every time you think of me,

I’m right there in your heart.

 

~ Author Unknown

A Giggle for the Day

dragon-pan-_7l2FS4FicM-unsplashIf you are tired and bored of staying inside these past few weeks and you are feeling cloud of gloom and misery over your head…then this post is just for you! There is nothing better than a good giggle to lighten your day!

So, here we go!

Forrest Gump dies and goes to heaven. He’s at the pearly gates met by Saint Peter himself. However, the gates are closed and as Forest approaches the gatekeeper, Saint Peter says, “Well Forest, it’s certainly good to see you. We heard a lot about you! I must tell you though, that the place is filling up fast and we’ve been administering an interesting examination for everyone who wants to come in. The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into heaven.”

Forrest responds, “Sure is good to be here Saint Peter Sir, but nobody ever told me about any interest exam. I sure hope the test isn’t too hard, life was a big enough test.” Saint Peter goes on, “Yes, I know Forrest, but the test has only three questions.

First what two days of the week begin with the letter T?

Second how many seconds are there in a year third?

Lastly, what is God’s first name?”

Forrest leaves to think the questions over.

He returns the next day and sees Saint Peter who waves him up and says, “Now that you’ve had a chance to think the questions over, what are your answers?” Forrest says, “Well, the first one, which two days in the week began with the letter T? Shucks, that was easy…that be today and tomorrow

The Saints’ eyes open wide and he exclaims, “Forest, that’s not what I was thinking but you do have a point and I guess I didn’t specify, so I’ll give you credit for that answer.”

“How about the next one?” asks Saint Peter. “How many seconds are there in a year?” “Now that one’s harder,” says Forrest, “But I thought and thought about that and I guess the only answer can be 12.” Confounded, Saint Peters says, “12? 12!? Forrest, how in heaven’s name could you come up with 12 seconds in a year?” Forrest says, “Shucks, there’s gotta be 12: January 2nd, February 2nd,  March 2nd,” “Hold it,” interrupts St. Peter, “I see where you’re going with this and I see your point…though that wasn’t quite what I had in mind…but I’ll give you credit for that one too.

Let’s go on with the 3rd and final question. Can you tell me God’s first name?” “Sure” Forrest replied, “it’s Andy.”  “Andy?!” exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated Saint Peter…OK, I can understand how you came up with your answers for my first two questions but just how in the world did you come up with the name Andy as the first name of God?” “Shucks that was the easiest one of all,” Forrest replied, “I learned it from the song…ANDY he walks with me, ANDY he talks with me, ANDY he tells me I am his own.”

Saint Peter opened the pearly gates and said, “Run Forrest run!”

 

If you have a good, clean joke that you would like to share for a future post here, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE IT/THEM!

I will not only post your joke…but GIVE YOUR BLOG PAGE A SHOUT-OUT AS WELL!

An Angel’s Hand

person holding hand

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The death and loss of a loved one, family or friend, is never easy. There are times when it comes unexpected and other instances when it arrives after a long period of time. I have experienced this kind of loss with dear friends of mine as well as family and relatives.

For me, I have always found comfort knowing that despite the hard and painful time I was going through, there was a promise and hope that I would see them again…whole, perfect, without pain and suffering.

I recently discovered the following poem, written by John F. Connor, that really gave me a beautiful image about what happens to our lost loved ones and their souls the moment they pass away from this earth.

It is simply a wonderful, heartwarming and beautiful little poem that I felt I needed to share. It is my hope that it will comfort someone today.

An Angel’s Hand

An angel whispered in my ear

Believe in me and have no fear,

Come with me and take my hand,

I will take you to another land.

 

A place of peace, a place of light,

Don’t be afraid, just hold on tight.

Your earth days are done but don’t be sad

Remember all the times you had;

Loved ones will join you, don’t despair,

You have many in Heaven waiting there.

 

Your body dies, your soul is free,

That’s why you get to fly with me.

Spending Christmas With Jesus This Year

a city built between the mountain and the sea

Photo by Luke Barkhuizen on Pexels.com

The Christmas and Holiday season is one of the most beautiful and exciting times of the year for millions of people around the world. The celebrations, music, parades, and all of the other thrilling festivities are some of the things that make the season so beautiful and heartwarming.

Unfortunately, for an untold number of other people, this time of year can be very sad, miserable, or depressing. The loss of a friend or loved one, or the remembrances of times and people in the past can make this time of year downright depressing. I lost both of my parents during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season…my dad, two weeks before Christmas, and my mom, seven days before Christmas. It seems funny to me how every year, a few weeks before the holiday season, I subconsciously begin to become sad and nostalgic about my parents.

So, it goes without saying, that I recently came across the following poem on a friend’s post called, “I’m Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Christmas” (written by Wanda Bencke) that I thought was a unique perspective of someone who has left this earth and is now in heaven with God. The following rhyme is a wonderful and touching piece of writing that I hope with help uplift your heart and touch your soul!

 

“I’m Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Year”

I see the countless Christmas trees,

Around the world below.

With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars,

Reflecting in the snow.

 

The sight is so spectacular,

Please wipe away that tear.

For I’m spending Christmas,

With Jesus Christ this year.

 

I hear the many Christmas songs,

That people hold so dear.

But the sounds of music can’t compare,

With the Christmas choir up here.

 

For I have no words to tell you,

The joy their voices bring.

For it is beyond description,

To hear the angels sing.

 

I can’t tell you of the splendor,

Or the peace here in this place,

Can you just imagine Christmas,

With Jesus, face to face?

 

I’ll ask Him to light your spirit,

As I tell Him of your love.

So then pray one for another,

As I lift you eyes above.

 

Please let your hearts be joyful,

And let your spirits sing.

For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven,

And I am walking with the King!

Surprises in Heaven

atmosphere blue bright clouds

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It is so foolish to believe that anyone is better than someone else. Sometimes our pride gets in the way so much, that we don’t realize what other people are really like. There are times individuals put themselves on such a high pedestal, that I believe that some people may be very surprised one day when they get to heaven.

The following poem is a good reminder of the foolishness of judging others. Let it serve as a reminder to us all.

Judge Not

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade..
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.

‘And why’s everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’

Have a wonderful and rewarding day!

God’s Time

air atmosphere blue blue sky

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you had an opportunity to speak with God? What would you say? What would you ask Him for? What would you do? This is an interesting question, right? Well, hopefully, your conversation wouldn’t end up as the following one did!

A man walked to the top of a hill to talk to God.

The man asked, “God, what’s a million years to you?” and God said, “A minute.”

Then the man asked, “Well, what’s a million dollars to you?” and God said, “A penny.”

Then the man asked, “God…..can I have a penny?” and God said, “Sure…..in a minute.”

Hope you enjoyed this cute little story and the smile and giggle that went along with it.

Have a wonderful day!

Are You REALLY Thankful?

Photo Credit: Peasap via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Peasap via CC Flickr

Every once in a while, I come across a short story or illustration that reminds me of things that I may have forgotten…such was the case when I found this brief tale. It made me remember really how fortunate that I am and how important it is to always give thanks and be thankful!

I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels.

My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, ‘This Is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are Received.’

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, ‘This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them.’

I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the Door of a very small station To my great surprise, only one angel was Seated there, idly doing nothing.

‘This is the Acknowledgment Section,’ My angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed ‘How Is it that there is no work going on here?’ I asked.

‘So sad,’ the angel sighed. ‘After people receive the blessings that they asked For, very few send back acknowledgments .’

‘How does one acknowledge God’s blessings?’ I asked.

‘Simple,’ the angel answered. Just say, ‘Thank you, Lord.’

‘What blessings should they acknowledge? ‘ I asked..

‘If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy .’

‘And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity. ‘

Also ‘ If you woke up this morning with more health than illness … You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day .’

‘If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation .. You are ahead of 700 million people in the world.’ ;

‘If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people In the world .’

‘If your parents are still alive and still married …you are very rare .’

‘If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you’re unique to all those in doubt and despair.’

Ok, what now? How can I start?

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Remember to always be thankful…and GIVE thanks!