The child, 11 at the time of the interview I was watching, talked about how everyone had wings. No person was older than their 30's. There were animals there, and lots of colors. Not really what I imagined/expected heaven to be like.
I have read a book called 90 Minutes in Heaven. That account of heaven seems to give a different type of heaven, and I wonder if perhaps that is due to the age difference (the author of this book is a pastor, at least 40 years old).
Really though, to be honest, I don't think it matters. Heaven is going to be greater than what I expect, and to finally be able to give Jesus a (bodily) hug will be simply amazing :)
What stuck out to me even more however, were the comments on the video (it was on youtube). Of the ones I read, and there were probably 5-7 of them, only one was positive. And there were 0 'Thumbs Up's on it. On the negative comments, there were upwards of 40 'Thumbs Up's. Now I understand that this world is hostile to God, and that proclaiming His word will be met with resistance (read Jeremiah for evidence of that), even from people who claim to know God, but where are the ones who will encourage those that are struggling? Are they sending personal messages to the person who posted the video, so that they may see that what they (the person posting the video) are doing is appreciated?? ***
I talked with a few people tonight who were struggling with one issue or another. (Although, to be honest, who have I ever talked to that isn't/wasn't struggling with something? Everyone has issues, we just tend to hide them usually.) One person talked about how they heard people at their youth group discussing their recent adventures with drugs and/or the opposite gender. Now, it is one thing to hear someone talking about these things at school, or a restaurant perhaps, but at church? Now I am not normally the person to say that church is holier ground than any other place, but to quote a friend of mine, "You guys need to write your sins down, cuz, seriously..."
Come on people! We have to get our act together....I know none of us are perfect, but we are called to be different from this world, aren't we? (By we, I mean Christians.) I probably sound condemning. But this bothers me. I know we are all sinners, but our sin is not something we should flash around like the blue ribbon we won for the race. That is not a race that I want to win. But I really do need encouragement. I cannot, will not, should not do this by myself. I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, but if His body/church is not encouraging and giving strength to those who need it, what can we expect?
We are supposed to be the turtle on a fence post. (No, I'm not going to explain it unless you ask questions. Don't be afraid to question things.) We are supposed to live lives of love and compassion, giving to those who are in need and speaking up for those who are oppressed. The person I mentioned earlier, who was struggling with the conversations they heard, they talked about how, previously, they lived for God. Every day, they would seek Him, but lately, they had not been caring as much. And that person noticed a change. A change they did not like. That change was something that they wanted to reverse, so that they could/would go back to living for God and being in constant communication with Him.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4***This is where I realized that I was so interested in this because I personally connect with it. Sometimes I feel like what I am doing is not noticed. I feel like I am trying to show that I love those around me, I feel like I am trying to encourage the oppressed. I feel like I am trying to be who God wants me to be, I feel like I am trying to live the life God wants me to live. I feel like I am sharing part of who I am, part of what I think about and care about. And I feel like it goes unnoticed. It hurts. (Of course it hurts. I am human, and therefore I am prideful and selfish. The fact that I have also not fully given my heart to God also plays into that. But I so desperately want that to change!)
But I really do not want to tell people that. I do not want to say 'Notice me!' and wave my hands around in the air. 1) Because that is just ridiculously stupid, and 2) because I feel even more prideful and selfish when I do that. So instead of doing that, I post things on here, I write notes on facebook, I make side comments. I leave the choice to see what I am saying, what I am feeling, to those who may decide to take the time to get to know me and my thoughts. I want you to ask questions. I want to know what you think of what I say and write. I want to know some of your thoughts on my thoughts. And I know I can't always get what I want, and I know that is a good thing. So, for now, I will just leave my thoughts here. You can read them, you can question them, and you can even talk to me about them. The choice is yours.
And, concerning the earlier point of this post, you can do something that others would scoff at. You can live in such a way that people look at you and start making all sorts of snarky comments about how all you have to do to believe in God is get a lobotomy. There is a good chance you will hear things like that. People seem to think that in order to have 'religion' you must discard 'intellect' and/or 'science'. Perhaps we are all suffering from the confirmation bias. (it is a psych term, look it up or ask if you want to know it) So, if you want to find truth, do some digging. Search. Seek. Yearn, and long for it. Then, maybe you will find truth. Or, perhaps you will find some others who are also longing for truth. But how will you find unless you seek?
PS- as you may have noticed, I'm not feeling especially sympathetic right now. I am in a mood to just do it and get it done with. Quit wallowing in your sin and get moving, sluggard! Ask God what He wants you to do, and then get doing it!!!
This is most likely because I feel like I am talking to myself. And I tend to motivate myself in that sort of way. I can be kinda harsh, I don't like to be that way towards others.
Last words: Do something. God can use anything for His purposes. Seek Him. Desire to do good. But first, realize what good really is. It will take time, and you may not find definitive proof. Chances are, when tackling big questions, you won't. At least not scientific proof. But God will provide you with what you need.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. -James 2:14-17