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Prepping for the Reunion

28 Feb

A man took his wife to her high school class reunion one weekend.  At the reunion, there was a guy reunionout on the dance floor –  break dancing, moon walking, doing back flips, making some incredible moves. He was the life of the party, showing off his dance skills.

At one point the man’s wife turned to him and said with a smirk, “See that guy? That’s Billy. Thirty years ago he proposed to me, but I turned him down … for you.”

“Oh re-e-e-e-eally?” the husband said, “Well, Sweetie, it looks like he’s still celebrating!”

I recently attended a training session for a ministry group and one of the speakers, author Gary Stanley, looked out over the trainees and said, “Wow! This is just like a class reunion, but without all the baggage!”

Go to a class reunion and you’ll discover a lot of “baggage” – good and bad – from the past. There are good baggage labels: Class President, star athlete, “A” student, etc. There are bad ones too: “loser,” class rebel, party girl … and worse.

ReunionPictureWhen I attended a 30-year reunion a few years ago, people there had changed a lot. (Not me, of course.) Not only were some of the “beautiful people” fatter and balder, many of their circumstances of life and choices changed their basic identity. I know I surprised some people. No longer was I the quiet, mousy girl, afraid and avoiding people. Now I was an author, a speaker, the head of a women’s ministry and leading in another. “What happened to you?” one woman said. “You’re not the same Dawn I remember!” (To which I thought, “Thank you, Jesus.”)

After the reunion, I sat down to think about all I’d heard and observed. The thought occurred to me that someday Christians will attend another kind of reunion when we enter eternity in heaven. It will be a joyous occasion, but there may be some surprises.

No doubt some will be shocked that Sister So-and-So is there; and maybe that dear sister will be amazed to see them too! Perhaps our mouths will drop open when we see those who receive special rewards from the Savior.

Now the truth is, we’ll probably all be so focused on Jesus, so grateful just to be there, we won’t even see anyone else for a while, let alone consider others’ positions or awards. We’ll all be so overcome by God’s amazing mercy and grace.

When I decided to attend my 30-year-reunion, there were a number of things I did to prepare; and these are the same kinds of things I want to do to prepare for that reunion in the sky. Let me share a little about that process.

How to Prep for the Heavenly Reunion:

1. Make sure you have the proper directions. I got my GPS and made sure I wouldn’t get lost when I went to the 30th reunion, and if you want to arrive in heaven, you want to be sure you know how to get there!

Thomas asked Jesus, “How can we know the way?” and Jesus replied, “I am the way” (John 14:5-6).  Gary Stanley shared with me at the training meeting that the word way actually is a word with the connotation of a “journey.” We’re on a journey with Jesus into eternity. We only get to heaven through Him; there is no other way (Acts 4:12).

2. Clean up and dress up. Though I looked nothing like I did 30 years ago, I still “cleaned up” pretty well. When you attend heaven’s reunion, you’ll want to be at your best.

The Bible advises us to put off the filthy rags of sin (Isaiah AreYouPreparingForTheGreatReunion64:6) and come to Jesus for a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10a).

3. Think about the others you’ll see there. I couldn’t wait to see my old friends at the 30th reunion, and I’m anticipating reunions with people in heaven too.

We’ll see the Lord, of course, but think about loved ones who have died in Christ. What a blessing it will be to see my dad and my grandparents. But I’m also thinking about some people I won’t see, if they don’t embrace what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for them. This motivates me to share the gospel!

4. Study for influence. Now this one may sound strange to some, but before I went to the reunion, I did some research. I wanted to know more about the event, what to expect so I’d know how to act. I studied a bit about the people who would attend so I could better interact with them. I wanted to make a good impression and perhaps have an opportunity for networking and influence.

Spiritually, I’m preparing for eternity by studying to be a “a workman and not ashamed” (2 Timothy 2:15). I study the Word of God so I can know how to apply biblical truth in my life and share it with others. I want to please the Lord and be a positive influence for the Kingdom, because I’m going to live there for a long, long time.

Friend, we’re all preparing to spend somewhere in eternity. Our preparations now – our choices – are so important.

Are you sure you’re going to heaven? If so, what are you doing to prepare for eternity?

– Dawn

 

A Walking Advertisement

7 Feb

I have this thing about bumper stickers. I love them (as long as they aren’t nasty). I think my affection for them stems to a clever television report I saw more than a decade ago. A reporter examined car after car in a parking lot and said, “A person sure can learn a lot about a driver from bumper stickers.”

I wonder what these modern-day bumper stickers reveal about their drivers:

  • Powered by Cupcakes.
  • I don’t have a short attention span, I just … Oh, look, a squirrel!
  • I got your back (picture of one stick figure holding the backbone of another stick figure)
  • All my kids have paws.
  • Sorry for driving so close in front of you.
  • Don’t make me use my librarian voice.
  • What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it’s all about?
  • My Food Pyramid (with every level reading “Bacon”).
  • Bacon – the candy bar of meats.
  • The pain will go away when it stops hurting.
  • The windows aren’t dirty; that’s just my dog’s nose art.
  • Chubby people are harder to kidnap.
  • I support the right to arm bears.

And my personal favorite:BumperSticker_Honk

I have to admit there are days I wish I could put a sticker on my forehead:  “Beware, Dawn is not a happy camper today” … or “Watch out, Dawn needs a chocolate break.”

The truth is, it’s really not hard for people to “read’ me. I wear my feelings pretty close to the surface; I’m not hard to figure out.  The problem comes when I let those feelings rule my life. I can become a walking advertisement for selfishness.

In contrast, the Apostle Paul talked about our “walk” in Ephesians 5.

“Walk in love,” he said (v. 2). The love Paul described is sacrificial … the same kind of love Jesus had for us when He died on the cross. It’s the walk of love that makes us want to be holy and avoid any behavior that would dishonor His name.

“Walk as children of light” (v. 8). This is the walk of discernment, the walk that shows the world Jesus is our Lord.

“Walk not as unwise, but as wise” (v. 15). This is the careful walk – understanding  the pull of the culture and choosing God’s will and ways instead. It’s the walk that values time and lives for eternity.

When I was a college student in Pennsylvania, a favorite professor’s statement spoke to my heart: “The world waits for a daily demonstration of the Christ who lives in you.” I realized the testimony of a life lived for God is the most powerful tool we have for evangelism.

So if we live as “imitators” of God (v. 1), we will be a walking advertisement for the power of God in our lives. What a wonderful launching pad for conversations about His transforming grace!

– Dawn

Announcement from Pam and Dawn

1 Nov

Most of our readers think of humor when they think of our book, LOL with God, but there’s a lot of hope in the book, too!

Pam has already ministered in many kinds of places where she offers help and hope to women; and for some time, the Lord has burdened me (Dawn) with a desire to reach women in prisons. But God has never given me the opportunity to go through those prison doors.

I’ve been praying for a way to make a difference with our book, LOL with God: Devotional Messages of Hope and Woman in PrisonHumor for Women. This summer, the Lord allowed me to speak with two different women about the possibility of placing our book in the hands of women in prison or with wives of inmates.

Right after Thanksgiving, Pam and I will present a special FUNdraising event of “Humor, Heart, and Hope.” Both Pam and I will speak, and there will be some fun interludes, but the “heart” of this event is to raise funds to purchase books for two ministries ~ one local and one national ~ that have prison ministry outreaches.

The event ~ sponsored by Rock Church Prison Ministry and Blended Step Families ~ will be held from 7-8:30pm on Monday, November 28, at The Rock Church in San Diego (Room 232).

Admission is $5, and we will also take an offering to benefit those impacted by the prison The Bible in Prisonministries of the Rock Church and also Speak Up for Hope.

The Word of God makes a difference behind bars … and LOL with God is an ice-breaker to get women into the Word who might never open a Bible otherwise.

Only in Christ will these women find the freedom, peace, hope, and joy that their souls seek.

Please PRAY for this event, and for Pam and me. But we also hope you will consider JOINING US if you live in San Diego County.

This is a wonderful way to express some post-Thanksgiving Day gratitude to God for how He has given YOU hope in Christ! Help us bring hope and joy to women who need it ~ just like you!

For more information, visit http://www.love-wise.com/LOL or call 1-800-810-4449.

[Note: no child-care]

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