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Heaven Sent ~ JC Calkins

Posted: April 10th, 2014 | Category: christian, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments

Heaven Sent

I didn’t start out believing in God. No, that’s not a blasphemous, heretical, sacrilegious, atheistic statement and it’s not really agnosticism. All of us start out not believing in anything at all and then over time, we grow to believe in what our senses can readily confirm via infant; yum and yuck truth tests. Some continue to navigate life entirely in this way, but most are eventually persuaded to accept some other principles or concepts, which can’t be strictly confirmed. In other words, we accept that which seems reasonable to us. That’s normal but not faith. God in our first adolescent encounters, rarely fits in that category of reason because God is beyond reason. We may want to believe in a God, especially on that frightening day when the concept of death breaks through our adolescent security gates in some absolutely undeniable way, but it’s not easy. Let’s face it, heaven without God is as foolish as water without wet. The concept of God pops up as we become more aware of those mystical revelations which are never accompanied by reasonable explanations. These events should be seen as notifications from God, but His early touches are rarely perceived that way. The real danger in our “Has God Ever Been Real?” hypothetical question, presents when some tragic or severely threatening event occurs before we have a practical, relational understanding of God. Which for the vast majority of our populations, never really happens. How can that be? It certainly can be and most probably is when the Gospel is selectively transformed into something sugar coated or missing much of it’s essential foundational truths. We too often get it all wrong because most teach it that way and lead us to believe we’re good to go.

We don’t accept Jesus or become Christians to one day get to heaven, we become Christians so that God can transform us into commissioned conveyor’s of heaven on earth. It’s a classic working family. If it was really about anything other than this, the Holy Bible would consist of two simple words, JUST BELIEVE. That’s not the case. Just how practical or informative would any other instruction to us be if it began and ended with the two words, WELCOME TO? To what? Where am I and why am I here? Jesus didn’t willingly walk up to that cross to free us from our sins so that we could just step out later and dirty ourselves all up again. That’s absurd. We are ALL canvases, plastered by graffiti, which need to be primed over, so we can be freshly sketched and purposely rendered by the masterful detailer and framer Himself. Such a re-rendering won’t happen until we freely choose Jesus and make a place inside for the Holy Spirit’s resident, remodel project. God’s purpose is very specific and dedicated, it’s not a general invitation to an oceanside retirement villa! We’ve been individually created in His image, so that we CAN amplify and reflect His will and nature, which is perfect. Being invited to be emissaries of God is the greatest privilege available to humankind. You see, Heaven isn’t a place, it’s a state of being (with God), where citizenship, along with it’s vast rewards and privileges begins immediately, not later on. Knowing our God intimately is how we can discover this and that’s just the new beginning. “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?” (Job 38:33 NKJV). God does and He’s famous for sharing with those of us who ask, because we mean even more to God than we do to each other. Heaven is a divine state to be commissioned from, not arrived at.  

 

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Essential Dive Buddy ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 6th, 2014 | Category: christian, Common Sense, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

I am, among other things, an open water, deep sea, scuba diver. Not by trade, but by choice. For those who’ve never traveled these swaying, swirling paths of tides and currents, I’ll try to describe the feelings and divine revelation which this activity reveals for me. When you’re untethered, 100′ beneath the surface of the ocean, you are truly in another world. It is not the most familiar world which we can exist in without any thought, it’s a world… read more

This Christmas …

Posted: December 6th, 2012 | Category: Christ Follower, christian, Christianity, prosperity, Spirituality | Comments (1)

As this Christmas approaches, perhaps more so than any other in my life, I’ve thought at length about our Lord. So much time has passed since He visited with us here, in this world he’s lent to us. So much has changed and yet so much which matters remains the same. Wars have come and gone. Nations have stumbled and tumbled. Evil personages have risen in power and then died without prevailing. The good have also come and gone, but… read more

Hardened Heartland

Posted: August 4th, 2012 | Category: Christ Follower, christian, Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (1)

As many of my readers know, I currently dwell in the Midwest, in Michigan to be very specific.  This Midwest region of the United States has been coined the Heartland of America.  I’m not sure who coined that but what might have been bankable at one point is now showing signs of counterfeiting. As you’ve also surely noticed, it’s a rare time when I’m not traveling with a camera, either here or anywhere else that I might go. Granted it’s… read more

A Better Example

Posted: February 28th, 2012 | Category: christian, Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

If we believe that Jesus Christ was the earthly born Son of God, and within the Holy Trinity, is God himself, then the Gospel of the New Testament in it’s entirety becomes even weightier in our lives than all of the public and private education which we might otherwise cram onto an individual resume of accomplishments. In His day, Jesus spoke out strongly about, yet directly to the powerful, politically-religious ruling sect of his time known as Pharisees. Although this group claimed a… read more

Really Knowing

Posted: November 26th, 2011 | Category: christian, Common Sense | Comments (1)

Are we like so many others, satisfied with our maker as a gentle, love fixes everything sort of fellow? Is it much easier to imagine Jesus Christ as a hands on healer or hillside story teller than anything else? The power and glory of God doesn’t arise out of these pleasant holiday images but rather from the sheer agony of the cross.  If our earthly life is all that we are concerned about, then an adorable baby in a manger… read more

Eternal Compass

Posted: November 10th, 2011 | Category: christian, Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

When harsh or icy winds are always in our faces, we often seek shelter or turn in a more welcoming direction, even if that does not lead to our intended destination.  Those who say they’ve had a blessed life, aren’t saying that the winds were always at their backs.  Being of Irish heritage, one of my alternative favorite Irish blessings goes like this … “May God give you… For every storm, a rainbow, For every tear, a smile, For every… read more

Ally Ally In Free

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Category: christian, Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (1)

When I was a kid, a day came along when our neighborhood collection of friends and collaborators got bored with our traditional activities.  One of our neighborhood moms suggested that we play a game called “kick the can”!  Yes it even sounded antiquated back then but we gave it a shot and it caught on. The concept is simple, draw an 8′ chalk circle, with another 1′ chalk circle in the middle.  Place an empty can (ideally open end down… read more

Lands-Lord

Posted: November 8th, 2011 | Category: christian, Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (1)

Marketing firms are always searching for an eye catching promotion for their client’s products or services. There are a series of ads running now with blindfolded people sitting in dingy, dirty, messy environments who agonize when they remove their blindfolds and see their surroundings. Their surprise results from the advertised product having successfully masked the telltale warnings which their senses should have picked up.  Every time I see one of those ads, I think of the Holy Spirit trying to… read more

Leading Us Home

Posted: November 7th, 2011 | Category: christian, Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (1)

Many of us move through life, some quietly, others flamboyantly, displaying monikers like role model, mentor, leader or friend, yet have we ever really accomplished much of worth in these roles?  Have we better prepared anyone for life or are we always just coaching away the last challenge or next scheduled engagement?  Do those we intercede with build the lessons, counsel or wisdom we’d like to convey into their daily lives? The answer is at best, sometimes.  For most short… read more