“Bruce Almighty” story

By Amy

7-29-16

“I don’t want to leave my food,” I commented to Leah & my Mom while gazing at the scrumptious Cracker Barrel blueberry pancakes & tasty hashbrown casserole before me.  “But I’m going to use the bathroom.”

So I left, only to find two women near the bathroom sinks after I exited the stall. . . with my pants yet to be buttoned & my belt purposely flailing haphazardly. I felt the need to explain my odd-to-some – actually many think it’s strange – actions.

“I never button my pants till I wash my hands,” I said after turning to face the women. To my utter bewilderment this is the response I received:

“I do the same thing!” exclaimed one of them. I tried to disguise the sudden shock that enveloped me as I replied:

“I think it’s unsanitary to put my pants together until my hands’ve been cleaned with soap & water.”

“I know,” she agreed. “If you buckle your pants before you wash your hands it’s dirty because you’ve just used the bathroom. It’s different for me today because I’m wearing a dress.”

She went on, “I’m so glad to meet another person who thinks the same way!”

“People have seen me in public bathrooms and ask me ‘Do you need some help with that?’ or just silently shoot me weird looks because of this,” I said.

I also took advantage of the opportunity now that a conversation with the ladies had blossomed: “I’m a cancer survivor and the #1 reason a bald head is so cool,” I continued as I removed my straw hat, “is that you never have a bad hair day. God gave me strength to simultaneously conquer college with high honors with a major in communications: print journalism & minors in psychology & linguistics, & beat 8 years of fighting cancer.”

The nicely dressed women were still listening intently so I went on. “My favorite Bible verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:11″ & then proceeded to recite the verse while I held their engaged attention. “I try to live like a positive productive cancer survivor; it would be useless if I got sad because I walk with a cane.”

“What was that verse? 1 Thessalonians . . .”

“5:11.” Then the ladies introduced themselves.

“I’m Bridgette.”

“I’m Lakisha.”

“Now I’m going to tell my friends when they see me in the bathroom (at a restaurant), Amy does it too,” said Bridgette.

I told Bridgette my blog address & she pulled her cell from her purse to pull it up online.

“Yep, that’s it, it’s called ‘Pincushion 4 Pokes’ because you get poked all the time if you have cancer.” I showed the ladies my best vein in my left arm left over after years of cancer treatment taking its tough unforgiving toll on my body.

Then we hugged & parted ways. The Lord does work in mysterious ways, doesn’t He? Who’d have ever thought I’d briefly share my testimony – in a public bathroom no less – with two, albeit friendly, complete strangers? Like Bruce played by Jim Carrey in the 2003 film Bruce Almighty plans to say while signing off as a news anchor: “And that’s the way the cookie crumbles!”

Yep, just another unplanned & unexpected opportunity tossed in my path. Very nice meeting you, Bridgette & Lakisha!

The End

Wonderfully WET

Per my Dad’s (an experienced swimmer who relishes water) recommendation, Sunday I got silicone, not foam, goggles. He was totally right – they don’t leak & are very comfortable!

So, if you’re going to Beat the Heat by staying Cool in a Pool like I did Monday, & you use goggles, go for the silicone variety. Mine, Speedo Silicone Goggles, are from the Trading Post in Plymouth.

Bundle of b-o-y

Thank you to my incredible friends who let me cuddle with their adorable bundle of b-o-y!! His first 2 initials E & A, are mine backwards because I’m AE, Amy Elizabeth. Thanks again for the hands-down HIGHLIGHT of my week!
(i’ve learned from reading the book “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn that for Christians, the best parts of life on this fallen earth are a foretaste of joyful Heaven, so how grateful am I to have greatly enjoyed a piece of Heaven tonight.)

Final Chapters, 39-46, in “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn

I feel like a

HUGE VICTORY’S been accomplished

each time I finish a long book – & this was a LOOOOOONG 1 (in hardcover the book’s 560 pages, so I just read that equivalent on my Kindle)!

especially in light of my constant dry eye difficulties. Informative & enjoyable book, too.

I hope you enjoy the plethora of notes I’ve taken much time & effort to record to share. Call it a labor of love:

Chapter 39 Information

“Like humans, animals were formed from the ground (Genesis 2:19).”

→ “God’s care for animals appears even in the Ten Commandments: “Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you” (Exodus 20:9-10, NLT). Animals also need rest. God carved into stone his care for them.”

 God brought “animals and birds” to be a “helper suitable” for Adam before creating Eve.

“God created us to be stewards of animals. He holds us accountable for how we treat them.” Proverbs 12:10a, NIV says, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals.”

Although we’re supposed to be caretakers for animals, all animals belong to God. “(Psalm 50:10-11, NLT)”

Chapter 40 Statements

[ “Christ proclaims from his throne on the New Earth: “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5, ESV).” Therefore, “all things” includes animals “as well as the inanimate creation.”

[ “Christ’s emphasis isn’t on making new things but on making old things new.”

 Chapter 41 Findings

 “”Won’t it be boring to be good all the time?” someone asked. Note the assumption: sin is exciting and righteousness is boring. We’ve fallen for the devil’s lie. His most basic strategy . . . is to make us believe that sin brings fulfillment.”

〉 As far as people worried about being dreadfully bored out of their minds in Heaven, “. . . When we see God as he truly is – an endless reservoir of fascination – boredom becomes impossible.”

〉 “God promises that we’ll laugh, rejoice, and experience endless pleasures in Heaven.”

〉 Christoplatonism, which is the belief that “spirit is good but matter is evil” (online definition), causes people to incorrectly link “fun with sin” & “boredom with holiness.” The Internet says “According to author Randy Alcorn, Christoplatonism directly “contradicts the Biblical record of God calling everything He created good.”

〉 “In Heaven, we’ll reign with Christ, exercise leadership and authority, and make important decisions. . . If we think life on the New Earth will be boring, we just aren’t getting it. Take a closer look at God and his Word, and all thoughts that we’ll be bored in his presence will vanish.”

 “We should stretch our vision of what’s in store for us. God’s redemptive work is far greater than we imagine because God himself is far greater than we imagine.”

 Isn’t it incredible that even in this world “under the Curse” of sin, “human imagination and skill have produced some remarkable works” including “Shakespeare’s plays; the Golden Gate Bridge; Baseball; Heart transplants; prenatal surgery; the space shuttle; chocolate ice cream; and sports cars”? John Wesley says, “The best is yet to be.”

Chapter 42 Insight

¶ “It’s God, not Satan, who made us to dance. If you believe . . . that dancing is inherently sinful, you give Satan too much credit and God too little. God placed within us an instinctive physical response to music.” A few of the many examples of dancing occurring in the Bible are “Ecclesiastes 3:4; Jeremiah 31:12-14; and Luke 15:25.”

¶ “When we face difficulty and discouragement in this world, we must keep our eyes on the source of our joy. Remember, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21, emphasis added).”

¶ Speculates author Randy Alcorn: “According to the principle of continuity, we should expect the New Earth to be characterized by familiar, earthly (though uncorrupted) things” including sports. “. . . Sports aren’t inherently sinful . . . Losing a game isn’t evil. It’s not part of the Curse. To say that “everyone would have to win in Heaven” underestimates the nature of resurrected humanity.”

¶ “Those who know God and believe his promise of bodily resurrection can dream great dreams. One day we will live those dreams.”

Chapter 43 Knowledge

♦ “Hence, “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:28).”

♦ “And the better we use our time and opportunity for God’s glory now, the greater will be our opportunities there (Luke 16:11-12; 19:17).”

♦ “So, it’s not only virtuous for us to make sacrifices for the needy now; it’s also wise. Jesus said if we help the needy who can’t repay us, “You will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:14).”

♦ “Some of you are bedridden, some are in wheelchairs. Others are weary, confused, unable to do what you long to. But for those who know Jesus, all that will change.”

♦ “Everything done in dependence on God will bear fruit for eternity. This life need not be wasted. In small and often unnoticed acts of service to Christ, we can invest this life in eternity, where today’s faithfulness will forever pay rich dividends.”

Chapter 44 Information

( “God promises to make not only a New Earth but also “new heavens” (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13).”

( “It’s not speculative to say there will be a new celestial universe of stars and planets. Scripture is clear on this point; that’s what “new heavens” means. Whether God might inhabit them with new creatures is not provable but certainly possible.”

( Remember that this is just the author’s speculation aka MERE GUESSING. Despite some people saying that God populating worlds with new beings would just be science fiction, “We may have it backward. Science fiction is the result of mankind’s God-given sense of adventure, wonder, creativity, and imagination. It emerges from being made in God’s image.”

( A TREMENDOUS THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTION: “How many times have we prayed that God would make us Christlike, then begged him to take from us the very things he sent to make us Christlike?”

Chapter 45 Insight

¶ “The new heavens and New Earth will never disappear. They’ll give a wonderful permanence to the word home.”

¶ “Anticipating Heaven doesn’t eliminate pain, but it lessens it and puts it in perspective. Meditating on Heaven is a great pain reliever. It reminds us that suffering and death are temporary conditions. Our existence will not end in suffering and death – they are but a gateway to our eternal life of unending joy.”

¶ “Don’t place your hope in favorable circumstances, which cannot and will not last. Place your hope in Christ and his promises. He will return, and we will be resurrected to life on the New Earth, where we will behold God’s face and joyfully serve him forever.”

¶ “Every person reading this book is dying. Perhaps you have reason to believe that death will come very soon. . . Make sure of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Be certain that you’re trusting him alone to save you – not anyone or anything else, and certainly not any good works you’ve done.”

¶ Upon our death, “The place of our arrival will be a beautiful, though temporary, place where we’ll await the culmination of history: the return of the risen Jesus, who will resurrect us. . . we’ll join him in ruling the New Earth, free of sin and the Curse.”

¶ ***Calvin Miller’s piece at the end of this quoted passage is phenomenal: “We see life differently when we realize that death isn’t a wall but a turnstile (my own note: a turnstile is defined online as “a mechanical gate consisting of revolving horizontal arms fixed to a vertical post, allowing only one person at a time to pass through), a small obstacle that marks a great beginning. Calvin Miller put it beautifully:

I once scorned ev’ry

fearful thought of death,

When it was but the end of

pulse and breath,

But now my eyes have seen

that past the pain

There is a world that’s

waiting to be claimed.

Earthmaker, Holy, let me

now depart,

For living’s such a

temporary art.

And dying is but getting

dressed for God,

Our graves are merely

doorways cut in sod.”

 Final Chapter 46 Truths

 “Death is merely the doorway to eternal life” for people “who are covered by the blood of Christ.”

 “Those who die without Jesus will experience a horrifying tragedy.”

“Death is painful, and it’s an enemy. But for those who know Jesus, death is the final pain and the last enemy. “For Christ must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).”

↑ “God loves the Heaven bound, but he is proud of the Heaven minded” (Hebrews 11:16).”

“The fact that Heaven will be wonderful shouldn’t tempt us to take shortcuts to get there. If you’re depressed, you may imagine your life has no purpose – but you couldn’t be more wrong. As long as God keeps you here on Earth, it’s exactly where he wants you. He’s preparing you for another world. He knows precisely what he’s doing. Through your suffering, difficulty, and depression, he’s expanding your capacity for eternal joy.”

“If you don’t know Jesus, confess your sins and embrace his death and resurrection on your behalf. If you do know him, make your daily decisions in light of your destiny.”

↑ I LOVE the words of missionary C.T. Studd: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”

↑ “Setting our minds on Heaven is a discipline that we need to learn.” Learning, hopefully from pastors & church leaders, “a biblical theology of Heaven” would be great to “shape and transform people’s lives, liberating them from the shallow hopelessness of life centered on a fallen and failing world.”

Says theologian Paul Helm “. . . The basic fact about the present life is that it is important and valuable in all its aspects because it leads to the world to come.”

 “If we think regularly of the heavenly and the eternal, we aren’t easy prey for Satan’s lies and distractions.”

 “Following Christ is not a call to abstain from gratification but to delay gratification. It’s finding our joy in Christ rather than seeking joy in the things of this world.”

 “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God. . .” (2 Peter 3:11b-12a).

↑  “Make every choice in light of Christ’s certain promise.”

  “Thinking of Heaven will motivate us to live each day in profound thankfulness to God. (Hebrews 12:28).”

  “We were all made for a person and a place. Jesus is the person. Heaven is the place. . . With the Lord we love and with the friends we cherish, we’ll embark together on the ultimate adventure, in a spectacular new universe awaiting our exploration and dominion. Jesus will be the center of all things, and joy will be the air we breathe. And right when we think “it doesn’t get any better than this” – it will.”