Wednesday, October 2, 2019

the best way to get ready to die

We’re all going to be dead soon so I'm sitting in the backyard grass surrounded by 42 Bibles.

My friends in rehab want new Bibles and Goodwill keeps running out because I'm buying them all so my home church put their extra Bibles together and sent them with me to rehab because the Maker God enjoys our company and wants us all to know Him. And Hell’s fiercest fighting has been defeated. Jesus died but now He’s alive. 

Billy Graham writes, "There is nothing more important to know and to have clear in our thinking than the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

The Gospel--Jesus died, was buried, and rose again, because God's in love with human beings and wants to spend forever with all of us in Heaven, in holy matrimony. That’s right! Married. Joined together with an inseparable joining, humankind’s mess-of-a-heart and His perfect-God-Heart, joined together in love.  Ah.  Jesus took the punishment for our sin so we can marry Him. Now we get to decide if we want Him or not. He leaves it up to us. 

Oh God wants to be loved! 

I just left rehab. Four of the Bible’s found happy new homes. One lady asked if she could have two and God loves this lady and He loves hunger and I still have 38 Bibles in my car so I said “Sure ya can!” She smiled big and said,“What a blessin’.”

Life is super duper short and it's oh-so-easy to get distracted by what doesn't matter at all. So here's what I'm remembering today, on this beautiful and hot and sunshine-y October 2, 2019--
Jesus is Lord, He wants everybody to know Him, He enjoys our company, and He wins. 

What else matters? 

In drug rehabs in Kentucky and in red-light districts in Hong Kong and in orphanages in India and in every home, street, and heart in between--He wants to be loved. 

Reading the Bible. 
That's the best way to remind ourselves of all that matters in life. 
And the best way to get to know God better. 
We find the purpose of life and the heart of God and the way to Heaven and the way to hope and unconditional love in those ancient pages. 

I like to read a couple different chapters from a couple different places, loaded with colored markers and pens and highlighters and I go crazy on the pages every day (underlining and drawing flowers and writing prayers). I read super slow, too. Like, I'll read a sentence and then stop to talk to God about it for five minutes. I also like to have a cup of coffee in my hands. If you're just starting, Psalms and John would be good places to read. 

Life is complicated and I know what dark days feel like and the tragic stories I hear every week are heavy and hard and we all face big challenges that look like cold, ginormous mountains but guess what? Jesus wins.  He gets to write the end of the story and Love comes out as the champion.  

Every night for a couple months now, my bedtime reading involves Billy Graham's autobiography. It's huge. Because he lived quite a life. I'm currently on page 362 of 1265.   

When President Dwight Eisenhower was on his deathbed, he requested to speak with Billy Graham. The president asked the doctor and nurses to leave the room; he took the evangelist's hand and said, "Billy, you've told me how to be sure my sins are forgiven and that I'm going to Heaven. Would you tell me again?"

"I took out my New Testament and read to him again the familiar Gospel verses, the precious promises of God about eternal life. Then, my hand still in his, I prayed briefly. 'Thank you,' he said. 'I'm ready.' I knew he was. As I stood to leave, he grinned and waved." 

Jesus made the way for us all to be ready. 

If we want, we get to spend the rest of our days on the earth, and the rest of eternity, intimately intertwined with the Lamb of God. And even death won’t do us part. 

Do you have a Bible? If not and you want one, let me know. I've got a few to

Do you read the Bible every day? If not and you want to start, you can. God's inviting you. 

p.s. here’s a telling of the Gospel by my friends around the globe.

p.p.s. thanks for giving the Bible’s, everybody. Ladies in recovery are getting ready for a wedding.