Here's your Triple C Friday news and announcements about all that's happenin' up here "on top of ol' Ogden"!
"Movie Night On the Barn"!
Sunday we're showing a movie on the side of our barn! I remember the first time we did. Our yard was filled with cars and folding chairs. A lady slowed down as she drove by. Rolling down her window, she asked someone, "Could I ask what is going on?"
"Sure. Our pastor is showing the movie 'Elf' on the side of his barn."
"Well….That's the coolest thing I've ever heard of!"
We will NOT be showing "ET"! We were trying to think of a movie kids would really like that they may not have seen before. That's how we thought of that one. Then someone reminded us this week, "Did you know that in "ET" they say the word, '&*%$#' about twenty times?! They even say, '*^#@%&*^'!"
We switched to an even better movie! And they don't even say "*%@$*" in this one!
I love what God has given me to do! All of it! I love getting to be a pastor!
Even tho' sometimes it's not always fun like "Movie Night On the Barn".
Last week, I was walking down the hall of the hospital to go to the consultation room near the Critical Care Unit. "Can I help you find where you're going?" a volunteer asked.
"No, thanks. I know the way."
I've been there so many times before.
Yesterday, I was driving out to a graveside service at the cemetery. "Can I help you find where you're going?", a worker asked.
"No, thanks. I know how to find it."
I've been there so many times before.
Actually, yesterday, my heart was overwhelmed for a moment as I parked. I thought as I opened the car door, about how many times I've been out to that cemetery to be with families.
"Almost twenty years of this place. Wow." I thought. "It's gone by so fast. Almost twenty years of sorrow and hurt and tears shed within the sound of cars whizzing by on Edgemore Road. Someday, we won't have to come here anymore! One day soon! At the last trump…"
And I also thought, "Wow! So many from our extended Triple C family have been in Heaven, praising, dancing, singing for almost twenty years!"
But in ways we can't comprehend, it must be like something more than "twenty years"! I think that with Him…that is, in His presence… what we call "Time" must be like no other time we've ever known!
And with Him, there's an awesomeness like no other awesome thought you've ever thought and a beauty like no beauty you've ever seen and a joy like no other joy you've ever felt!
When the Apostle describes Heaven, he says that it's never entered into your heart or imagination the unimaginable amazements of the Father's house!
And Paul should know! He got to go to Heaven for a short visit once! In his second letter to the folks who loved Jesus and lived in Corinth, he said he was suddenly "caught up to the third heaven"! And he reported back that he had seen and heard things "that cannot be told…that no one can utter!"
I wonder why he couldn't talk about this?
(Besides the fact that it's all indescribably beyond words!)
Maybe he wasn't allowed to talk about it because, as the British brother, G. K. Chesterton said, if we could have a thirty second visit to Heaven ourselves, we'd just be silly with laughter the rest of the time on earth and wouldn't get anything done!
And he must be right because Paul said Heaven's awesomeness is so truly awesome that, compared to There, it made all his many years of pain and suffering down here "light and momentary"! (2 Cor 4:17)
"Light"…Just a light, slight bother!
And "momentary"! Just for a moment!
One of my favs, John Newton, a sweet pastor and writer of songs that God's people still sing after 250 years (including "Amazing Grace"), had a tender, beautiful marriage. Since he and Polly had no kids, they adopted two girls. The second, thirteen year old Eliza, was the daughter of Polly's sister. Eliza's father and two siblings had all died of dreaded "consumption" or TB. Her mother's life was slipping away as well. Eliza was infected too. All knew the Newtons were taking her into their family for her last months.
John wrote to Eliza's mother, Elizabeth, as mom, convalescing by the sea, was growing weaker each day…
"I told you that Eliza would be ours. That is a settled thing…but she has made herself ours and…has taken possession of a large room in our hearts. Her affectionate, obliging, and gentle behavior have endeared her very much to me. As to her health…I hope she does not suffer much pain, but she is so very patient that I cannot be certain. My chief desire is that the Lord may speak to her heart and draw her to Himself…And then whether she goes to Heaven at the age of twelve or at the age of one hundred and twenty, is no great matter…"
Wow. Whether 12 years or 120, compared to "There", is all "just for a moment!"
Her adoptive Dad Newton kept a record of her last days.
"Despite her great pain, she repeatedly thanked her nurses and the servants for all their kindnesses to her. She listened with smiles and nods to all the prayers and scriptures read to her. When the doctor, on his last visit, asked her how she was feeling, she replied, 'Truly happy. And if this be dying, it is a pleasant thing to do it.' "
Her dad, John wrote that during her last moments…
"About five in the afternoon, she desired for me to pray with her once more. Surely I then prayed from my heart. When I had finished, I said, 'My dear child, have I expressed your meaning?' She answered, 'Oh yes!' and added, 'I am ready to say, Why are His chariot wheels so long in coming? But I hope He will enable me to wait His hour with patience.' These were the last words I heard her speak."
On October 6, 1785, Eliza died.
John Newton wrote in his diary, "The Lord sent a chariot of love for dear Eliza. We almost saw her mount…"
Just a moment! Imagine that!