Movies, novels, and folklore have all influenced what you think about heaven. If you believe in heaven or not, you have some ideas about what it will be like. Every major religion has a view of heaven, but what about Christians? What do they think heaven will be like?
John Eldridge describes in The Journey of Desire, an image I can relate to.
“Nearly every Christian I have spoken with has some idea that eternity is an un-ending church service… We have settled on an image of the never-ending sing –along in the sky,….. And our heart sinks. Forever and ever? That’s it? That’s the good news? And then we sigh and feel guilty that we are not more ‘spiritual.’ We lose heart, and we turn once more to the present to find what life we can.”
Is that true? What will Heaven be like? Where do we go when we die? We all want to know what the destination after this life will be like.
I believe God has placed within all humans an understanding of the eternal. We all have a sense that we will live forever somewhere. But what specifically happens after death? Where do we go?
Jesus provides illumination in his words of comfort to his disciples before his death.
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
We talk a lot about growth in our culture. Personal growth, economic growth, population growth and more! In the church these days we use language that is sometime confusing – after all, what does it mean to have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. I just returned from a Build-Up Conference and it seems to me, we need to shed some light on this phrase.
God provides illumination in the words of Jesus in the story of the Roman centurion who demonstrated such great faith it was preserved as a model in the Bible.
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”
Most people in the world operate with a 1 to 1 approach to life. One hour work equals one-hour pay. Productivity is limited by the number of hours in a week. Productivity isn’t always focused and without a life plan priorities are often missed.
Successful entrepreneurs are not like most people. Never content to settle for a 1 to 1 relationship between efforts and results they achieve far higher levels of productivity. We all know someone whose productivity is outstanding.
The problem is if you’re already working as hard as you can, you’ve hit a limit on what you can produce. So how do they do it? How can you learn to increase your productivity?
Jesus provides the answer. In his first and most famous teaching metaphor, the Parable Of The Sower (Mathew 13:1-23) Jesus describes four different scenarios in which an investment, in this case seed, produced significantly different levels of productivity.
Can you imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t imagine? Seriously, complicated or simple our lives can be influenced by what we imagine. Strategically we call this vision. Our vision, passion and purpose are of utmost importance. Most people’s biggest deathbed regrets could have been avoided if they’d thought about vision, passion and purpose.
But what if you are doing your best? Isn’t that good enough? NO! This isn’t about effort or intentions, it’s about your vision, purpose and passions coming together to guide your efforts.
Everyone ends up somewhere. Few people end up somewhere on purpose. Many people spend their days and even lead organizations with only a sense of plodding along and not working with vision, passion and purpose. Are you ready for a change?
God through King Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived provides us with truth.
This is thin ice I’m stepping on; after all as Canadians we pride ourselves in helping around the world. But I really want you to wrestle with this for yourself. Don’t think about an image that we project and protect. Think about reality!
What is it in your life that has your attention? What is something that you crave and enjoy? Money? Fast cars? Sports? You can turn an inward focus, outward when you understand how God can use these for your spiritual growth. Do you crave achievement? What if you could learn to use these desires to serve others?
Desires are universal but we are individuals. Desires and God are linked in a unique way for each of us. What if we could learn to see them as having a God-designed foundation in our life?
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Can you name something you need in yoga, on a financial statement and for your tires? If you guessed balance – you’re right! Balanced health is possible! In the past I have made choices that were out of balance, especially in the area of sleep. I followed unhealthy role models who took pride in how little sleep was needed and I thought I’d catch up on my sleep – in the grave!
Ever feel like you’re just reacting in terms of your health? It shouldn’t be this way. We’ve all tried to do better but where do you turn to for information and motivation?
Are you looking for career advice? Through high school and university I had a variety of jobs: commercial fisherman, fish factory worker, infantryman, laborer and bricklayer. Then something amazing happened – success! But how? How do you find work you love that leads to success?
Research shows that up to 70% of people hate their jobs. Many of my friends do not love their work. Now their children are in school wrestling with the tension of what to study and what careers to pursue. Many people I know are still wondering how to find work you love.
Are you getting what’s commonly known as “donor fatigue”? If one more person sends you a link to one more campaign – you’re going to lose it!?! Really though, it’s often the frequency of hearing about problems and needs that fatigues us. Statistics say Canadians give only 0.65% of our income to charity. Worse, only 25% give any support to charity. What’s the real problem then? I believe it’s donor fear not fatigue.
There’s a tension between generosity and fear. Materialism often masquerades as cautiousness. We struggle with selfishness and how much to accumulate. We think, what if we give too much? What if we don’t have enough for retirement? What if…
Married? Have kids? Have parents? Got any clients? If you’ve got a pulse, someone in your life regularly says to you, “listen”
How to become smarter…..choose wisely who you listen to. Listening leads to learning. It’s got BIG consequences. My life has been defined by the voices I have listened to and those I have tuned out. If there was a “rewind” button for life there are voices I should have turned up and some should have been turned off!
But we can’t turn back time. What we can do is learn to listen with greater discernment now. There are many competing voices and there is the voice within us. The voice within us needs a source of wisdom.