One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all of the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
This psalm is about the anticipation of being in the presence of the LORD. It is a reminder of how we should desire to live in the presence of God every day. With the desire of living in God’s presence every day and seeking God in ALL that we do, there is no doubt that we will experience God in ways and moments we would have never thought we would experience him.
God IS With Us
Over the last month I have heard carols being sung about the Messiah’s birth. I am reminded of what the name Emmanuel means; God is with us. As I sing and hear these carols and reflect on the words; God is with us, I see where God has been with me and how I have experienced his mighty presence over the last year. If you have read any of my previous writings like A Glimpse of Heaven, you will know that I believe that God does give us a little taste of heaven and the affirmation that he is with us in ALL we do and experience.
As the year begins to come to an end, I wanted to share some of the moments I have experienced God the most this year. In other words, God has given me just a glimpse of what heaven will be like when it is time for me to go to my eternal home.
Easter Sunday 2015
On Easter Sunday of this year, my husband and I were baptized by immersion. Yes, we have been believers most of our lives. Both raised in Christian homes and baptized as infants. Yet, Jim and I had been led to a Baptist church that was to be and has become our church home. As we made our decision to make Macedonia our church home, we knew we would have to be baptized by immersion. A lot of thought, searching the scriptures and prayer went into our decision. So, on Easter Sunday, Jim and I stood before the congregation that would become our family, professed our faith and were baptized by immersion.
As I look back on this particular Sunday, I see where God gave me a glimpse of heaven. In the song, Baptism that is sung by Kenny Chesney and Randy Travis, there is a lyric that I am reminded of as I reflect on that special Sunday. The lyric is “I didn’t seen any angels just a few saints on the shore. ” Each time I hear this song and it comes to this particular lyric I feel the embrace of the Holy Spirit that I felt as Pastor Dan raised me out of the water. In reflecting on my baptism on Easter Sunday, I don’t see a congregation just looking on as Jim and I were baptized. What I do see are the saints on the shore just as they are described in this song.
My baptism on Easter Sunday gave me a glimpse of what it will be like as I arrive to my eternal home. There will be angels there but there will also be saints. The saints are the people God placed in my life as I walked this earth. They are the people who mentored me in my faith, lived our their faith every day in everything they did. Just as I looked out from the baptistery on Eater Sunday and saw a family ready to embrace me, I see familiar faces, smiling and ready to embrace me once again to welcome me home.
Nassau Bahamas 2015
I Danced With an Angel
A little over a month ago Jim and I took a cruise to the Bahamas. It is a cruise that we have done several times before and never get tired of it. One of the destinations on this cruise is Nassau. Nassau has become one of our favorite places. Jim and I like it not only for its beauty but for its people. Over the years and visits that we have made there, we always seem to experience God in the most unique ways. As we have shopped in the straw market, we have heard testimony of faith and the love of God from venders. One year, we even saw the people have worship with song, prayer and testimony in the middle of the Straw Market before beginning their day. We have had tour guides show us with pride the church they attend as they guided us through the history of the Bahamas. Yet, this year to Nassau was unique not only because Jim and I were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary but because I experienced God and his Kingdom in the most amazing way. I danced with an angel.
Jim and I had been on a tour earlier in the day. As the shuttle was taking us back to the beginning point of our tour, I saw a few things that I wanted Jim and I to go back and look at on our own. My mind was on taking pictures, absorbing the spirit of Christmas in Nassau with their decorations, music being played on street corners and nativity scenes being displayed in front of churches.
Jim and I step off the shuttle and thank our driver. We look at each other as to where we wanted to begin our adventure on foot. As we walked down the street, we were drawn to the sound of a band playing. This band was playing Christmas carols and songs that Jim and I remembered from our years of Sunday School as children. The closer we got to the where the music was being played the more we found ourselves dancing down the street to be where the action was taking place.
There we were in a park area outside the straw market. Along with other tourist and locals Jim and I were enjoying the music and dancing along. Then, over to my right, I see this man. He probably had only one or two teeth in his head. However, he was singing and dancing along with everyone else. He was raising his hands to heaven praising God as the band played. In the midst of the music and movement, I ended up beside this gentleman ( I say gentle because I sensed he had a gentle spirit about him). Before I knew it, I was dancing and singing with this kind old man. As the song leader led the crowd in the song; Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore, this kind man took my hand with his and raised our hands towards heaven singing; Jordan’s river is deep and wide, Hallelujah…And I’ve got a home on the other side, Hallelujah.
It was in that moment when I knew God had given me another glimpse of heaven. In heaven, we will hold hands with fellow believers whether we knew them on earth or not and lift our voices in praise to our Father, our Creator, our God. It was in this moment of dancing and lifting my hands towards heaven with this man I had never met I felt the holy spirit embrace me once more. Yes, “there are angels among us”.
The Angels Sing
Last week, at Christmas Eve Candlelight worship, I experienced another glimpse of heaven. Worship began with Christmas songs and greetings. Along with the Christmas songs and greetings, we had communion along with our Pastor sharing the gospel and the meaning of Christmas. After our pastor spoke, the candles that each person held were soon lit and the congregation joined celebrating the birth of Christ with singing more carols.
As we sung the familiar Christmas song; O Holy Night, I closed my eyes. Further into the song, I heard extra voices especially while singing the words; “Oh hear the angels’ voices..”. At first, I didn’t think anything about the extra voices. I was sitting on the front row with many people behind me and the sanctuary being fairly full I thought that was what I was hearing. Yet, the next time we came to those words I knew I heard extra voices and voices unlike you hear in congregational singing.
I opened my eyes to look and see if there were people in the balcony because the voices sounded like they were coming from above me. However, there was no one in the balcony but the sound and audio technicians. As I turned back to continue to sing, I close my eyes again and I heard the extra voices coming in again on the song. There is no doubt in my mind that the angels were singing and proclaiming Christ’s birth with us just as they did on that first Christmas.
Emmanuel…God IS With Us
These are just a few moments that I wanted to share with you. As I have shared these moments with you, I am again reminded that God’s presence is with me at all times. It is up to me to desire to be in his presence, to acknowledge his presence and keep my heart, eyes and ears opened to experience his presence.
My New Year’s Wish For You
As the New Year approaches, I ask you to stop for a moment and reflect on this past year. Reflect on where and how you have experienced God in your life. You may want to journal these experiences or share them with loved ones as you say good-bye to this year and hello to the New Year. Most importantly, give God thanks and praise for these moments.
In the New Year, I challenge you to take Psalm 27:4 to heart. As you go through your days, your weeks and months this year, seek God in ALL situations and in ALL that you do. Emmanuel….God is with us!!
Take time to listen to the video
May you experience HIS presence as you walk through the New Year