Alaska and Heaven

Have you ever been to Alaska? One of these days I would love to take a cruise that leaves Oregon, goes up the coast of Canada, and docks in Alaska.

The whole sky is frequently lit up with the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis, so that if you are outside, you cannot miss it. They say that the lights are brilliant, with every color of the rainbow.

They say that Alaska has seasons just like Oklahoma, with spring and summer, fall and winter, just like we do. I hear that there are days in Alaska when the sun doesn’t shine. Darkness covers the land for weeks on end, but when the sun returns it is glorious, and people appreciate the sunshine more because of the darkness.

Yes I have heard stories, seen pictures, known people who lived there or visited there and I do believe there is a place known as Alaska.

I know Heaven exists, just as surely as I know Alaska exists. I’ve heard stories of people who died and went to heaven, but were resurrected from the dead and returned to live out their lives on earth. I’ve read in the Bible the story of John who saw heaven.

In Revelation chapters 21 and 22, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,. . . and I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. . .having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone. . .And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. . .
the City had no need of the sun or the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb was its light.”

Paul also saw heaven and he told the Corinthians, “to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” II Corinthians 5:6. Paul knew that his time here on earth was drawing to an end so he was anticipating his travel to heaven.

When Paul closed his eyes one day in Rome, he opened them in Heaven.

Seasons Change

Warm days, cool nights. Rainy days. Leaves turning autumn colors. I love the seasons of the year. Can’t say which I love more. Each has its own special treat.

Seasons change. Nothing stays the same. We are born, we live, we die. Some have called it futile, but there is a peace in knowing that each season follows the one before. When seasons are disrupted, it causes confusion and uncertainty.

When we have a warm spell in the winter, nature sends forth buds and leaves, which are killed by the next freeze. A late freeze in spring kills the fruit on trees. 14 inches of snow in March when gardeners are preparing their soil for planting is not normal.

Here, of course, I’m speaking of weather in the Heartland of America–Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas. I don’t know about weather and seasons in other parts of the country. And I can’t even guess what it is like in other parts of the world, like Australia or Africa.

Genesis 8:22 NKJV says “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.”

This was a promise from the Lord. Noah came out of the ark after more than a year and built an altar to the Lord God Jehovah, sacrificing burnt offerings on the altar. Then the Lord spoke to Noah, making a covenant of blessing with him. God promised never to destroy all the earth with a flood again and as a sign of His promise, He set a rainbow in the cloud.

This promise included the seedtime and harvest, winter and summer. There is something very reassuring in knowing that while the seasons change, they will always remain. As long as there is an earth, as long as the earth remains, there will be seasons.

I was young, I became a teenager, married, and had children. I now have grandchildren, am now growing older, but when I reach my 90’s on earth, and I’m satisfied with my life, then I will lay my life down to go be with my Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ.

Seasons change, seasons remain, as long as the earth remains—this is God’s promise to me.

Beautiful Wedding Shoes

I don’t remember saying my wedding vows. I only remember the pain of those beautiful wedding shoes.

Expensive, satin off-white peep-toe 2-inch pumps, with a heart-shaped vamp. As I stood at the altar, exchanging vows with my future husband, in that most sacred moment all I could think of was how bad my feet hurt. I shifted from one foot to the other to ease the pain. As the soloist sang “The Lord’s Prayer,” I wondered how long I could stand it. When the song was finished, the preacher pronounced us man and wife, and we marched down the aisle, out of the sanctuary toward the fellowship hall, where I kicked off those shoes and went barefoot the rest of the evening.

During my wedding the most impressive feeling I had was not love, not joy, but pain. My body was in pain from ill-fitting shoes, so my body’s impressions over-rode the emotions I would normally be feeling on my wedding day.

I knew when I bought those shoes that they didn’t fit me well, but I was caught up in the fashion of the moment, wanting to look beautiful for my wedding day, right down to my feet, even though they were hidden by my long wedding gown.

As I look back, I can see what I did wrong. Surely there were cute shoes out there that I could have worn that wouldn’t have hurt my feet.  I needed to find what is right for me, not what everyone else was wearing.

 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” Romans 12:2 NKJV. I am not to be fitted into the mold, but to adapt the fashions to work for me; not to squeeze my foot into an ill-fitting shoe, but to find the right size and style for me.

Now I dress my feet first, maybe not as fashionably as some, but still stylishly. I want to have my mind on God and not on how bad my feet hurt.