Without Understanding….

I normally have to watch what I watch on television, or what I hear, for the tragedy’s of this senseless world stay in my mind and thoughts for a long time, and really bother me!  I use to ask God, Why? Why do these horrible things happen? I don’t anymore, I have learned that even though God knows why, He still grieves with us!

Man and God were separated by sin long, long ago. He gave us our own free will to make the choices that we do all by ourselves, good or bad. I guess choosing sin must be easier for the majority of the people, for that is what is usually chosen.

Even after all our evilness as people, God loves us! He sent his only son to die for us, so we would again have the opportunity to walk with Him, side by side. I choose to be Spiritually connected and loved by Him.

My heart is breaking for the loved one’s of those who died or were injured in the Aurora, Colorado recent shootings. I read a blog written by a woman who survived it with her two girls, her first line was, “Maybe I survived this shooting so you would have the opportunity to read this, that God is Good! and that God loves you!”

I have learned through my own tragedies of life, that God is Good, and that something good will come out of this.

 He says in his Word, Romans 8:28:
28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good <sup class="crossreference" value="(A)”> of those who love him, who have been called <sup class="crossreference" value="(B)”> according to his purpose. “

Peace and Blessings!

Pollard News!

Busy, busy, busy, what can I say? Ali has gymnastics camp, two back to back and Elijah has swimming lessons, his final one, and baseball camp coming up. We have been to two Vacation Bible Schools as well. The family went to Myrtle Beach for a week the first week of July! Myrtle Beach was so much fun, one hundred yards from the beach, it was nice to get up every morning and take the Ipad down there and veg out!

Anthony is working hard of course, to pay for all these activities! We are all doing well.

Talk soon.
Traci

Life Lines……

“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
                                                                                          Galatians 6:9

The day after the wreck I went out to the junkyard to obtain my baby brother’s belongings out of his car. Just the night before I had walked the walk of death, holding my brother while he passed away from his injuries. After all respiration’s stopped, I was given his bag of clothes and left him there for the last time. What a horrible day that was, February 20, 2002. This was not suppose to happen, we had birthday plans for Daniel, he was turning 25 years old in two days, in fact, the day we buried him.

My brother lived life to the fullest, having recently been saved, he was attending bible study regularly. I was not surprised to find his Bible with him in his vehicle, the night of the wreck. God was with Him. I know that God was with him, for He said in His Word, I will never leave you nor Forsake you, and He never left Daniel, He never did! A few months later at the court hearing for the man who hit my brother, I met a witness who was there with my brother. He came up to me, and said I want you to know I was there and talked to your brother. I asked him, What did he say? The man stated, “I asked him if he was in any pain, my brother replied no. He then asked him if he was OK, and my brother said yes. Imagine the relief I felt when I heard that. I was so thankful for that man. Another nurse had stopped to help him, and she was leaning over into the car and was hit by another vehicle, paralyzing her. I called her emotionally a few days later to thank her, and she told me that “If I had to do it all over again, I would… I wouldn’t change a thing!” What?” Are you serious? I couldn’t believe what she had said. What an angel! I think today that somehow she was just that, an angel.

Fast forward a few days, I was flipping through Daniel’s bible, and he had underlined Galatians 6:9. I didn’t think much of it, until the day of the funeral, getting ready the television was on and talking to the wall. It was on a religious channel, at my moms. What I remember most was, why is the TV on a religious channel it never was at my moms house. Out of the blue I hear a women on the TV screen read out loud Galatians 6:9, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  I was starting to get it now.

Fast forward ten years until now, I truly believe that knowing what I know now, God showed so much mercy and grace in taking Daniel, for had he survived, he would not have been the same person that he was medically speaking.

I can not tell you the number of people that I have come across over the years, since that awful day. I think I was a grief magnet, for others who were is so much pain. I was so blessed, and continue to be to this day to help others along in their journey of finding a “new ” normal.  Life is not the same, but it is beautiful, and there is love! I miss Daniel and wonder what if, but that is not to be. What if, is now What if I had never been able to love on that person when they needed it the most? What if God had not of comforted me? I leave you with this, 

2 Corinthians 1:3  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, <sup class="crossreference" value="(A)”> the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us <sup class="crossreference" value="(B)”> in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Peace and Love…

                                                                                         
.

Theology 101: Is There Really 3 Heavens?

What Does the Bible say Heaven is Like?

What does the Bible say that heaven looks like? Are there sufficient scriptures to tell us? Are the images of the saints playing harps while lying on the clouds of heaven accurate? Can we know for sure what heaven will be like?

What Heaven Isn’t

The tiny chubby cherub angels playing their harps in heaven are not what heaven will be like or are like at this present time. Heaven exists today but humans who are living on earth can not yet see it and the pictures that we have seen of it can not describe it accurately in all its splendor, glory, beauty, and majesty. Those who have died in the faith in Jesus Christ are said to be present with the Lord and since the Lord is seated at the right hand of the Father on His throne they are in heaven right now. What this means is that heaven is for real; it does exist, and there are Christians who have died and gone to heaven and are now with Jesus Christ.

The Three Heavens

There are actually three heavens described in the Bible. The first heaven is what is called the firmament or sky that covers the earth. This is the realm of birds and clouds and surrounds the entire earth.
The second heaven is where the stars, the sun, and the moon reside. This is the space beyond the earth and it covers the entire universe. It is as far as the human eye can see with the help Stairway to Heavenof gigantic telescopes such as the Hubble telescope.
The third heaven is unseen and is the residence of God, including Jesus Christ and is where the dead martyrs and saints are today. This is the location of the throne of God and where the holy angels surrounding His throne sing day and night, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord our God.

Biblical Eye Witnesses to Heaven

There are several people in the Bible who have been eye witnesses to the heaven before they died. Elijah was caught up into heaven, taken up in a whirlwind and who never tasted death (II Kings 2:1-12). Like Elijah, Enoch who was said to have walked with God, was taken up into heaven without ever tasting death. The apostle John saw heaven through an open door so that he might see and record in the book of Revelation some of the things he saw in heaven (Rev. 4:1).
While Paul was on the Damascus Road on his way to persecute Christians, He saw heaven open up but whether this was heaven itself or just the first heaven where he saw the light, we can not be sure. Acts 9:3-4 described what Paul saw, “As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” We do not know for sure, according to the scriptures, whether this was the third heaven, where the throne of God was or not, but can assume it was not for Paul on heard a voice from heaven and he saw only a light from heaven. Nonetheless, heaven is for real and it exists today in every sense of the word.
I am sure you have read or heard about many who have died and seen heaven for themselves. They describe such a realm that is beyond description. Some who died and came back to life revealed seeing their lost loved ones in heaven, their family, friends, and some even their pets. This is difficult to prove, yet the sheer number of these who have seen heaven and came back from death is hard to refute. Only they themselves know this for certain. But the Bible does describe some of what heaven is like in the scriptures. It is, from the human standpoint, indescribable (I Cor. 2:9).

Biblical Descriptions of Heaven

There is a constant chant of holy angels that are continually proclaiming Holy, Holy, Holy over the throne of God. The Mercy Seat in heaven where God sits is surrounded by magnificent angels full of glory and power that proclaim and bless the holy name of God without ceasing. Some of these are described as beasts, full of eyes, with six wings and neither rest day or night in their proclaiming the holiness of God (Rev. 4:8-11).

Heaven Descends to the Earth

After the Kingdom of Heaven begins on earth, after Christ’s return, the New Jerusalem descends out of heaven and heaven, in the New Jerusalem, will then be on earth. Revelation 21:1-2 describes this: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” The very tabernacle of God will be with humans then and heaven is any place where God is at (Rev. 21:3). All pain, suffering, and tears will absent there (Rev. 21:4).
John was carried away to heaven in Revelation chapter 21 and this chapter is perhaps the best description of heaven that we know of; at least the heaven that will be seen by those who are Christ’s today. John describes it in Revelation 21:10-27:
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.
14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia [or 1,400 miles!] in length, and as wide and high as it is long [1,400 miles wide and tall!].
17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits [that is 200 feet!] thick.
18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.
19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst [these last two stones are unknown or only exist in heaven today].
21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.
26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.
27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

How You Can See Heaven

There is only one way for you to see heaven and Jesus Christ is the one and only access to it (John 6:44, Acts 4:12, 16:30-31). There is no other way possible to get to heaven but by the Son of God. Getting to heaven is a one-way trip. If you die before Jesus Christ’ Second Advent (return), you will go directly to heaven and be in the presence of God. If you never see heaven, you will most certainly see hell and that is also a one-way trip from which there is no return.
Revelation 21:7-8 shows the fate of those not going to heaven: “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Like the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man who died without Christ is forever denied access to heaven and to God. It is an everlasting location from which no one can depart. My hope and pray is that no one would ever go there. There is one simple way that you can go to heaven. Jesus died after living a perfect life. He spilled His blood to take the Holy Father’s wrath upon Himself. This bridged the gap from heaven to hell. It is a free gift. To not accept it is to seal your fate forever. To accept it is to be with God in heaven for eternity in joyful bliss. Right now if you ask Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior, ask for the forgiveness of your sins, admit you are a sinner in need of saving, and place your faith and trust in Him, He promises to never, ever forsake you. He will keep you in His own hand and never caste you away, even if you die (John 6:37, 10:28-29). If you do this right now and you will see heaven for yourself. And you will be with the Lord our God forever and ever.

Spiritual Warfare Is Real!

I have always had spiritual warfare, like everyone else does, but I never noticed the intensity until I really started diving into the Word of God! Then it hit, like a firecracker! I see things differently now, I see leaders with a new admiration! To lead is hard, with warfare it can be beyond difficult!  I am reading a book called “Prayers that Rout Demons.” by John Eckhardt. It is filled with Scripture to defend yourself with against the attack of the enemy!

I love what it says about prayer, “We base our prayers on the Word of God. The Word of God will inspire you to pray. Prayer is one of the ways we release the will of God upon the Earth. We must study the Word of God in order to know the will of God. This is why prayer and the Word must be combined!”

God teaches us how to fight the enemy using His Word. The Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the truth, using the Word of God as your sword! Confessing the Word of God is an intrical part of every believer’s life. Salvation comes from confessing with the mouth. The mouth is connected to the heart. The Word of God released from your mouth will be planted in your heart, Faith is released from the mouth. See how it all works?

Scripture for Spiritual Warfare can be found in the index of most Bibles, the Internet, Books, the sources are all over the place if you look. Where ever you find it, look them up in the Bible, and they must line up with it! Some of the Scriptures that I use are Isaiah 54:17, which states, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against me in judgment I condemn.” Another one that I like is Isaiah 54:14, “I am established in righteousness, and oppression is far from me.”

Your job is to seek out the Word of God, God will make it clear to you and teach you what you need to know, But seek HIM first, and foremost everyday!

Peace

Do I Really Know You God?

 I came across a really good article called “The Height of Godliness” by Charles F. Stanley and in this the author talked about stages that a Christian goes through in the life long journey, or friendship of knowing God.  Charles Stanley writes, “Over the years, I’ve noticed a recurring theme in conversations with other believers. Right after affirming their salvation in Christ, they conclude with these words…. ” But I know I haven’t grown as I should.” Wow! I am going to be deeply honest, I don’t ever want to say those words. Funny, I knew exactly what Charles was talking about. I realized in my own life, that a person, referring to I, could go through four years of college, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion, and not know Christ. I am not talking about history, or theology, I can quote the best of them, but I am talking about good ole’, I know that I know, Christ!

Could I tell you what makes God smile? yes, hypothetically, I could, but do I really know what children’s laughter and play does to him? What makes Him sad? What is His favorite color, does He even have one particular color or just loves all the colors He made?

The seven elements that Charles Stanley refers to in his article are : Salvation, Scripture, Sharing, Suffering, Stretching (your limitations), Solitude, and Service. The book of Hebrews explains that mature believers have their senses trained because of practice. (Hebrews 5:12-14). Looking at your life through the eyes of God, thinking, and putting to use the traits that He gives us, of sharing some of the same attributes.

It is up to me, Christ is standing there with open arms, How long will I make Him wait until His arms get tired? The best part of God is His arms never get tired, he never draws weary! I am running to Him before I trip, I know that I am safe in His loving arms, and I am growing with Him, and it’s a beautiful experience.

I Am Getting Serious, This Time!

You know I keep saying this, as I put another coca cola to my mouth, that this is it, I am dieting! I love myself don’t get me wrong, but I do not like the weight I have gained. I know that it is not the desired weight that God had for me, and it is not natural, by any means!

My problem is I want to loose the weight instantaneously, but do not want to put in the work! Ok, really… that is not going to happen I know, but wishful thinking! I love to eat, I really, really, love the taste of food, but I am not having this!

Weight Watchers gets high marks according to the reviews, It is not a diet that you have to modify per say, so much as your lifestyle. Am I willing to do that? Am I willing to settle for the way things are?  No, I am not, and I am on my way to the kitchen now, to get a Dasani!

Women’s Bible Cafe, a ministry online of a friend of mine, Christine Smith has a wonderful support group for women who want life changing skills, and healthy living!

Well off to get my water, and begin my new life!
Peace¬

Amazing Weight Loss Group On WBC

Women’s Bible Cafe started a new weight loss group on Facebook today. We have over 50 members! It is amazing to see how God can pull people together, to fellowship, praising God, learning, growing and building up Godly relationships with others!

Although I have no idea where the group is going, because I am only concerned for this moment, for the rest is for God to formulate. It is nice to not be in control. I know that when God is “running things” they are extremely successful!

I encourage you to check out the Women’s Bible Cafe on Facebook!

Peace and Blessings!
Traci