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

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

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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!

Where is Your Treasure Stored?

Photo Credit: Shad Bollin via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Shad Bollin via CC Flickr

I once heard a fantastic, short story which gave me a perspective on life that I still use to this day. As in one of my previous blogs “The Garbage Truck Principle”, I enjoy sharing things that I feel may help other people. It is again my hope that today’s posting will, in some way; help you or someone you know, look at life from a different point of view.

One day, many years ago, one of the richest men in the world decided to take the wise man of a village on a hike to the top of one of the tallest mountains. After packing up their supplies and hiking for several days, they finally reached the peak.

The rich man, filled with pride, smugness, and conceit, pointed all around him then said to the wise man, “look around you as far as you can.” “Look to the west, then to the east, the north and south.” “Everything that you see, I own.” “I have spent my entire life acquiring more wealth and riches than any other person in the world.” “Do you see that huge flock of cattle over there?” as he motioned his hand down to the valley. “They are mine” he gloated. “Do you see all of the cities down there scattered around the countryside? I own them too.” “I have more riches and treasures than anyone could ever know!”

The rich man then looked directly into the wise man’s eyes and asked the old man, “and where are your riches and treasures?”

The quiet old wise man then smiled and simply pointed up to the sky and said, “THAT is where my treasure is stored!”

Folks, we all need to understand that while having money and other nice things in life are good to have but they are not the most important things. You see, the most important things in life are not the things that you see but the things that you don’t see. The focus in our lives should not be in how many things that we can get, how much money we earn, or other material items we own…they should be on the stuff we can’t perceive…like how we act and treat others, love our family and friends, and worship God.

We should always strive to lay up our treasures with God for someday, if we remain faithful, He will be the one that will honor us for entrusting Him with our hopes and treasures. Why? Because every man is mortal. It was once said that we will leave this earth the same way we entered it. In other words, we came into the world with nothing and will leave it with nothing. The most important things will be where we decide to store our treasures and what our legacies will be to our loved ones.

Where have you been storing your TRUE riches, treasures, and wealth? If you are like the wise man, you will know where it should go!

Dog Angels

Photo Credit: dogwarsallianceinfo.yolasite.com

Photo Credit: dogwarsallianceinfo.yolasite.com

It has once been said that “A dog is man’s best friend.” I know one thing for sure, I had an awesome dog as a kid and he WAS one of my best friends, Here’s a cute little poem dedicated to all of our “friends” who have left this earth to go to the “Great Beyond.”

DOG ANGELS

I found a penny today

Just laying on the ground

But it’s not just a penny

This little coin I’ve found

 

Found pennies come from heaven

That’s what my Grandpa told me

He said, “Dog-Angels toss them down.”

Oh, how I loved that story

 

He said, “When a Dog-Angel misses you

He tosses a penny down,

Sometimes just to cheer you up

To make a smile out of your frown.”

 

So don’t pass by that penny

When you’re feeling blue,

It may be a penny from heaven,

That your dog has passed to you.

 

Are There Dogs in Heaven?

Photo Credit: Bob Jagendorf via Flickr

Photo Credit: Bob Jagendorf via Flickr

A friend of mine recently had to put her beloved pet dog down. She had had it for many years. It had become very sick and the day came that she and her husband knew that it was time for the dog to be put to sleep.

Many people around the world draw very close and attached to their pets. Their pet becomes “one of the family”, so when it’s time for the animal to pass on, it can be a very emotional, gut wrenching time in their life.

The following story was sent to me from my friend who experienced these feelings recently when they had to say good-bye to their little buddy. They used this story to comfort themselves during this rough time.

Are there dogs or any other kinds of pets in Heaven? I don’t know…there probably will be. It is my hope that this little story will bring comfort to someone today.   

An old man and his dog were walking down this dirt road with fences on both sides, they came to a gate in the fence and looked in. It was a nice grassy, woody area, just what a ‘huntin’ dog and a man would like, but, it had a sign saying ‘no trespassing’ so they walked on.

They came to a beautiful gate with a person, wearing a white robe, was standing. “Welcome to Heaven he said. The old man was happy and started in with his dog following him. The gatekeeper stopped him. ”Dogs aren’t allowed. I am sorry but he can’t come with you.”

“What kind of heaven won’t allow dogs? If he can’t come in, then I will stay out here with him. He’s been my faithful friend and companion all his life. I can’t desert him now.”

“Suit yourself, but I have to warn you, the Devil is on this road and he will try to sweet talk you into his area. He will promise you anything but the dog won’t be able to go there either. If you won’t leave the dog, you will spend eternity on this road.”

So the old man and the dog continued on their journey. They came to a run-down fence with a gap in it, no gate, just a hole. Another man was inside. “Excuse me sir, my dog and I are getting mighty tired. Do you mind if we come in and sit in the shade for a while?”

“Of course. There is some cold water under that tree over there. Make yourselves comfortable.”

“You’re sure my dog can come in? The man down the road said that dogs were not allowed anywhere.”

“Would you come in if you had to leave your dog?”

“No sir. That’s why I didn’t go to Heaven. He said that the dog couldn’t come in. We’ll be spending eternity on this road, and a glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now. But, I won’t come in if my buddy here can’t come too, and that is final.”

The man smiled a big smile and said “Welcome to Heaven.”

“You mean this is Heaven? Dogs ARE allowed in Heaven? How come that fellow down the road said they weren’t?”

“That was the Devil and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a life-long companion for a comfortable place to stay. They soon find out their mistake, but then it’s too late. The dogs come here. The fickle people stay there. God wouldn’t allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, He created them to be man’s companions in life, why would he separate them in death?”