Jan 222013
 

I have a cold.  No major illness.  No major trial.  Just the minor inconvenience of a headache and a nasal system full of snot.  None the less, I will be glad when it’s over and the sickness is a memory.

Colds do slow me down, but I try not to let them get me down.  It’s a pain to have to deal with the headaches and snot.  However, I realize it is only temporary.  Colds are not typically life threatening, so in a few days, this one will just be a memory.   But today,  there is a battle raging inside my body.

While I write this, white blood cells are attacking the invading virus, determined to subdue it.  In the end, the invading virus will be conquered.  My body’s defenses will win, and I will feel better.   In the meantime, this got me thinking about why God made the body “almost” perfect.   His design allows my body to fight the germs, but why didn’t He design it so the germs never even have a chance?   Why didn’t He make it so my defenses were so good that I would never even get sick in the first place?

One possibility:  Because I was sick from the day I was born.   This earthly body is not perfect.  The disease of sin means certain death to this earthly body.   A cold reminds me of that.  Any trial, any sickness, any disease, any death of this earthly body is just a reminder that sin has to go.  It also helps me realize that eternal life in this corrupt body would be a curse.

A God who would leave me to live forever in a sickened corrupted state would not be a loving God.   Therefore, our Heavenly Father has provided a solution.  Christ is the cure.  He is a living example of the truth that the body must die so the spirit can live.   Perhaps eons from now, looking back from the perspective of eternity, I may turn to one of my Christian friends and say, “Remember that time when we were all sick?  Aren’t you glad we got over that?”

 

So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.  And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
     – Romans 8:8-14  NKJV

Sep 192012
 

There is no such thing as leftover bacon.  I have never seen it and I am convinced it does not exist.  In researching the topic, I have discussed the issue with several people.  They have all agreed.  Leftover bacon is a myth.

At first, this theory may appear to defy logic.  Every other food is capable of producing leftovers.  At our house, for example, spaghetti is particularly adept at this.   English peas and rice are also very leftover prone.  We once had three or four dates that sat in a small container in the back of the fridge for almost a year before I finally consumed them and put them out of their misery.  But never bacon.  Bacon is just too good to be left unconsumed.  The demand always meets the supply.

When I die, I don’t want to be like spaghetti or English peas.  I want to be like bacon.  One hundred percent shared out.  Every crumb given away.  Every bit consumed.  Nothing held back.  No leftovers.

He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
-Math 10:39

Mar 012012
 

Today I am making a list of things to take to a funeral.  All of the things on the list are for friends and relatives; people still alive on this Earth.  The person who has passed on is with Jesus, and I am sure, has all she will ever need.

Apr 302011
 

My heart beats at 68 beats per minute.  That’s on the low end of average for a person who is sitting around doing  nothing.  When I get up and go for a walk, my heart works a little harder, speeding up to 72.  When I wake in the morning, it’s already thumping along at 66 bpm.  Not much change for a heart.

Although it’s drumming a steady beat now, there will come a day when it stops.  The last beat.  It’s been counting down ever since before I was born.  Only God knows exactly how many beats I have.  It’s a bit sad and introspective for me to think about it, but I wonder if God sees it differently.   I wonder if He is watching the count-down. 

Does He consider the day of the last beat, when my heart stops and my eyes open to really see Him for the first time?  Does He eagerly anticipate, like a Father waiting for his children to come home?   Is He marking off the beats on some Heavenly count-down clock?  I can almost imagine Jesus elbowing some big angel and saying, “Just wait ’till Mark gets here.  He’s going to be amazed at the place I’ve prepared for him.  Only 1,751,299,200 beats to go! “

  “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
     – John 14:1-3

Oct 172010
 

Yesterday, I went to the funeral of a guy I didn’t know. It was interesting to hear about his life and his Christian walk. I think I’ll look him up when I get to Heaven.

Jul 132010
 

I went to a funeral this Sunday and I will attend another before the week is out.  A member of my Sunday School class passed away last week.  It was pretty unexpected from what I hear. Mowing grass one minute, then with Jesus shortly thereafter.  Tammy and I were taking food for the family when I heard about the second one.  A co-worker at my company – a guy who was just in my office on Friday – was killed in a car accident on Saturday.

I know that people are living and dying every day.  And I am sure many people have had to face death in a more close and personal way than I have.  One thing is for sure.  We all face it.  Most of us will face it many times before the final time.

When I was about 14 years old, I had an encounter with death. It happened in the woods beside our house.  A baby bird, a blue jay, had fallen out of the nest.  It was too young to fend for itself so I tried to take care of it, but ultimately failed.  It died.  I cried.  I have had much more serious encounters with death before and since that episode but I still remember how sad I felt that day.  I remember feeling embarrassed because the death of this one baby bird affected me so.  Even today, I don’t know why it affected me so deeply.  It left an impression.

That’s the thing about death.  It always leaves an impression.  These two deaths have impressed me with the realization of how quickly and unexpectedly life on this earth can end.  Our spirits are housed in a wonderful, but fragile bit of clay.  It is in times like this that I cling to the spirit, and hold the clay a little less tightly.  It is, after all, dust that will slip through your fingers no matter how tightly you hold on.

And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
      – Romans 8:10-11 

Nov 292009
 

The Thanksgiving holiday is coming to a close and I find my heart finally ready to write a few words regarding those things for which I am thankful.  As with most people, I am thankful for many things.  However this year I would like to resist the urge to rattle off a long list.  Rather than pour out a flood of thanks and have the importance of a single drop be lost in the deluge, I’ll keep my thanks to one thing.  

It has been almost three years since my mother-in-law died.  When she was alive, we did not always see eye-to-eye but I do believe she loved me, as I did her.  When my family went back to the house for Thanksgiving this year, it was not the same.  Her absence made a big difference.  The house is changing with the times and the place that was so much of her is slowly becoming less and less so.  Nevertheless, here and there, in a forgotten corner, you can still find a picture or a trinket.  Or perhaps a note written in her hand.  Little reminders that she was once here and left some things behind.  

I am thankful for the stuff she left.  Not the stuff left in the house, or the things she gave my wife before she died.  But the things she left in us.  I can find pieces of her in my wife.  There are traces of her in my kids.  She even left a bit of herself in me.   Carolyn Hardyman is with our Lord.  She has made the journey to her eternal home.  But not before leaving a part of herself in many of us who must remain here a little longer.  We are better for it.  And so, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for what she left behind.