Friday, October 29, 2010

living in two worlds

1 Peter 4:18 Now 
      " If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
      Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.


We all live in two worlds...the world of "here and now" and the world of eternity that lies beyond death's gateway.  First Peter, chapter 4, has a lot to say about living "here and now" with a mindset that includes the "hereafter".  I don't know what kind of challenges and choices we'll face when we've passed completely into the next life, but it is clear that many of the choices we make here echo in Heaven and have ripples through the lives of others living alongside us that can make a difference in their eternal experience.  It is because there is a "hereafter" that we have perspective on living "here".  This chapter discusses those who live only for the temporary satisfactions of the even discusses wild partying and drinking and carousing...the kind of activities that make total sense if there is no life beyond this life...but we have come to know, through God's gracious revelation and via the window of faith, that there is life and there is God and there will be a time when we are face-to-face and one-on-one with our Creator.   Even though it has been a few thousand years since Peter wrote his letter, the words couldn't be truer that "the end of all things is at hand" (from verse 7), because we will go to Him or He will come for us within the span of our lives.  It is sobering and refreshing to be challenged by words like these as we move out into the world today: 1Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.


A heavy thought can bring light.



Rob Smith

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Victory or defeat....this time of year life boils down to one of those two ultimate outcomes every week on the football field.  The feeling of victory is an ultimate sort of "high" and the feeling of defeat is an ultimate sort of "low".  It's interesting that the result can turn on something as small as a field goal kicker's execution of one kick at the end of a close game.  As fans, we have relatively little to do with that field goal kicker (apart from our hoarse cheers).  But the result of that kick will drive us up or down the emotional scale and make us feel that, either we have just invested three hours on a beautiful afternoon wisely or poorly.  After a victory we actually feel more joyful...and life seems a little brighter, at least until the next Saturday afternoon.  But how much greater is the Victory Jesus won for us on that grim day outside the walls of Jerusalem two thousand years ago.  It appeared that our hero was going down to defeat and, with Him, our hopes for salvation.  After all, they had captured Him, beaten Him, sentenced Him and nailed Him to a cross to die.  But He turned defeat into victory when, in an overtime that was unexpected by His opponent, He defeated Death.  There wasn't much of a crowd to watch this victory, but we've been celebrating the victory ever since.  And we continue to cheer the Victor every Sunday (and often in between).
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
blessings and cheers for the One who Won the Victory for us,
Rob Smith

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a good example

Do you remember being encouraged by your Mom or Dad to "be a good example"...perhaps when you were surrounded by younger children?  One thought that has struck me from reading in the book of First Peter is the example that Jesus is for us.  They say that the best leaders demonstrate the behavior they want others to display...leading by example. 
 1 Peter 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.
1 Peter 2:4-5 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house
1 Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps....verse 23 and whjile being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
1 Peter 3:17-18 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.  For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God
1 Peter 4:13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
He came not only to die for us but to show us how to live.  His life was far from pleasant while He was here because He represented a power that threatened many who were comfortable living outside of God's rule.  We see that even the God of all Creation was treated wrongly for living rightly and we have an example for living that will lead to eternal life and allow us to lead others as well.
Rob Smith

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

meet in the markeplace

I have made a lot of visits to local stores recently as we have been working on a number of projects in our house.  We have been to the large "box" stores and the small hardware stores looking for the materials we have needed.  The sales people have been very helpful in general.  As we have interacted with fellow shoppers and the store staff one clear observation shot through my mind: We may differ in many ways with other people: culture, religion, affluence, national background...but we all meet in the marketplace.  We find every kind of person out there in the stores because we all have the common needs that are attached with living on planet Earth.  On weekends we may worship in places as varied as the golf course, the Baptist Church, the fishing hole or the Synagogue with friends and folks with whom we have a high comfort level.  But in the marketplace we stand shoulder to shoulder with a common need for toilet plungers and two by fours.  And so we find great opportunity to meet, mingle and reflect the love of the Lord (who lives in our hearts) with a very diverse mix as we cross paths in places where our common needs are met.  Whether in stores or restaurants or gas stations, or even toll booths, we may find our richest mission fields in the places where cash changes hands and the two most asked questions are: "Paper or plastic?" and "Debit or Credit?".  Even if we don't have time to fully share the Gospel message of God's heavenly rescue plan, our attitudes and simple expressions of appreciation and love for total strangers can be stepping stones that the Lord may walk across to touch hearts.
Acts 17:16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.
Mark 6:56And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.
blessings (see you in the marketplace),
Rob Smith

Saturday, October 23, 2010

the elephant in the room

There is an expression that is used to describe a large issue that is very close but that is unpleasant or uncomfortable.  The "elephant in the room" is that expression.  It occurred to me the other day that our personal nearness to death may be the ultimate "elephant" in our personal rooms.  In the back of our minds we know that, long or short, our lives will run their earthly course and we will die.  We don't spend a lot of time wrestling with the mystery of our birth, or how we happened to have a chance at this life, either.   But our birth is behind us and we like to stay very busy with our lives, as we push the elephant aside each day.  We tend to look for happiness in measurable, tangible things or in human friendships and even family ties...but we still work around the elephant and deny the inevitable reality of death.  We are so good at pushing the large, ungainly creature aside that when one of us dies we can be truly shocked or stunned, when we also know that none of us knows the time of our departure...but all of us know that we will depart.  So we ignore the elephant...He is large and he is near...but he's generally quiet.  But one day we decide to face the elephant square in the trunk!  There is geat bulk, but thiere is also strength and power.  There is an awkwardness as he moves such great weight on massive legs, but there is a kind of grace as well.  And as we look straight at the elephant and consider his nature we find Jesus walk up to us.  He boosts us up and then climbs aboard the massive mammoth.  Then he shows us how to ride the elephant so that we no longer need to deny his presence.  Death is an elephant.  His reality is unquestioned.  His size is great.  He stands quietly near in our room...but Jesus is here as well and we will ride the elephant together.  When it is time to go, Jesus will go with us...but the elephant must remain behind.
1 Peter 3:18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
1 Peter 4:7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
blessings to all who ride the elephant, with an invitation to all to climb aboard
Rob Smith

Monday, October 18, 2010

walking together

I was walking through the large parking lot of one of our local hardware and construction stores the other day and spotted an older couple...perhaps in their mid-70's walking into the store.  He was a large framed man and she was quite petite.  They walked side by side and chatted...discussing, I imagine, just what they'd need to find at the store.  I was struck with the thought that they had walked side be side for decades, these two very different people.  He probably had carved out a living with his hands and his head to provide for his family.  She probably had labored with the sustaining love for him and for the children they brought into this life.  Who knows how many challenges they had strains, health issues, heartbreak and breakthroughs for the children.  These two very different people and very separate personalities were obviously welded together and as they walked you were aware that they were strong together.  I think their obvious closeness...despite the marked differences in their physical stature...spoke volumes about the beauty of the Creator's design in marriage.   There is one kind of strength that comes from standing with other men, if you are a man, to solve problems in the world.  There is another kind of strength that comes from women standing with other women, to share problems in the world.  But there is a unique and almost inexplicable strength that comes from the lifetime bond of marriage, where two very different kinds of people join and then walk together through the years.   It is the strength of wholeness where, together, they are more than they could ever have been in a life by themselves.  We are wedded so that we might be welded so that God might wield something through us to His world.
Genesis 2:23 And Adam said:
      "This is now bone of my bones
      And flesh of my flesh;
      She shall be called Woman,
      Because she was taken out of Man."
blessings (with thanks to the parents God "welded" in love to make a home for me),
Rob Smith

Saturday, October 16, 2010

nothing to fear

1 Peter 3:13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
Some people seem to think that Christianity is illogical...the result of some irrational need certain people have for a supreme being.  But when you consider words like we read above, from the apostle Peter, we see some of the compelling logic that underpins our faith.   It just makes common sense that good things should be the outcome of doing good things.  Of course, even short passages in the Bible can reveal more as we consider them a little closer.  Does the verse say that no harm will come to those who do good?....Well, we see in the very next verse that doing good can still lead to suffering:
 1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed.
Putting the two verses together we see that although it may be logical to expect only good things to happen when we do good things, there is something upside down in our world and we actually may suffer for doing the good things.  But isn't it remarkable that even if we suffer for doing good, there is another outcome as well...there is a promise of being blessed in the midst of suffering.  Well this certainly points out that there are different levels of level that seeks only to avoid suffering at any cost and another level that rewards and honors those who put "doing good", or following and serving God at the top of their priority list.  I think that there is only one way that this second kind of living is possible: we must have had a real encounter with the One who defines what good really means.  Of course He is the Lord...the only one who can make sense of the irrational world we are surrounded with every day.
blessings (with gratitude and birthday greetings to pastor Dick Woodward, who has inspired me to think my way through the scriptures),
Rob Smith

Friday, October 15, 2010

the bigger picture

Even before I was fully awake, problems and concerns of the upcoming day began to fill my mind.  I knew this would be a challenging day and so I headed out for my walk with the Lord hoping to find peace before facing the challenges.  It was almost like being overwhelmed before even starting the day.  Peace began to break into my clouded mind as I walked and invited the Lord into my thoughts.  The stillness and soft light of the minutes before dawn helped me establish a connection with Him.  I found an open spot facing the east where the sun shows its presence even before fully arriving on the scene.  I looked up into the sky and saw an unusual cloud formation resembling  a school of fish that seemed to be headed to greet the sun.  The vastness of the sky and the beauty of this image became the perfect setting for the Lord to whisper to my heart: "Your problems are small but they are filling your whole world.  Consider how vast is My Kingdom and see a bigger picture."  Suddenly I was filled with peace as I realized that I could rest in the Great God of all.   There can be beauty and rest in being a small part of something great and wonderful.
Psalm 33:13 From heaven the LORD looks down
       and sees all mankind;

 14 from his dwelling place he watches
       all who live on earth-

 15 he who forms the hearts of all,
       who considers everything they do.



Rob Smith

Thursday, October 14, 2010

this day

This day I will breathe the air of the Holy Spirit.
This day I will eat the Bread of Life.
This day I will drink the Living Water.
This day I will listen to the Voice of your Creation.
This day I will feel the touch of the Shepherd's staff.
This day I will delight in your Word.
This day I will walk through the Valley with you.
This day I will run to your strong tower.
This day I will rest in You.
Rob Smith

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

coming up

Thirty three Chilean miners, who have spent over two months one half mile underground are being rescued now.  One at a time they are coming up in a capsule that has been specially designed for the trip.  They are emerging to cheers, music and tearful reunions with loved ones.  But beyond that, the entire country of Chile has been watching and rejoicing with the miners.  You might say that the whole world has been watching the progress of the drama and now the sucessful outcome.  Perhaps this is something like it will be as we emerge from our life on earth's surface, one at a time, and find ourselves in the courts of God.  We have been trapped below for a lifetime and God has drilled a tunnel wide enough for one to come down and rescue us and for us to travel with our rescuer back to Heaven.  As we emerge, into Heaven's light, we'll probably be stunned by the brilliance, something like the miners as they are released from their coffin-like vehicle to the light of day.  The cheers of the crowd may capture the cheers and tears of loved ones and friends that will also greet us one day as we move from earth's surface to heaven's glory.  It's hard to beat the joy of a great's hard to beat the motivation people have to rescue their loved ones and friends.  We, have have met the Savior, have found the vehicle that has been sent to save us.  Now we wait our turn, as others go ahead, to be lifted up to a glory high above!
2 Corinthians 4:13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.
blessings to all the "miners" in Chile and all of us who stand waiting to climb aboard the rescue vehicle to Heaven,
Rob Smith

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sin doing well in recession

'Sin' stocks outpace market, proving recession-resistant
I spotted the headline above on the internet yesterday.  The article discusses how alcohol, tobacco, and gambling stocks have held up well through the economic downturn.  A major tobacco company stock was up more than four times as much as the stock market over the past year.  There is even a mutual fund, called the Vice Fund, that combines these companies in one investment.  Apparently sin turns out to be one industry that has held up well in tough times.  (This is in no way a recommendation to buy into "Sin").  I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise...after all our sin nature is not dependent on the ups and downs of the financial world.  It is as constant as the sunrise and as present as the atmosphere.  Somehow it left a bad taste in my mouth to consider profiting from Sin when Sin is the downfall of us all.  Of course, it is a narrow view to classify certain industries as "sin" industries...that is just a convenient label.  But we are reminded that the ever-present and ever-thriving tendency we have to sin calls for an ever-present and stronger God to show that there is deliverance from sin...deliverance from death...there is life that surpasses sin.  Sin may have done well in the stock market over the past year, but Salvation is an investment made at great price on our behalf at will pay dividends in Heaven.
Romans 5:20(b)-21 But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rob Smith

Monday, October 11, 2010


Where would we be without all the others?  It is the "others" in our world that drive our purpose, facilitate our maturity, and help us cope.  We live in a culture that idolizes self...self-image, self-sufficiency, self-awareness, self-actualization.  Our world is built around each of our "selves".  It's as if everyone of us is at the center of his or her personal world and fulfillment comes as each "self" reaches personal fulfillment.  The ironic truth seems to be that an "other centered" life may actually be more satisfying and more in line with the Lord's best for us, individually.  Jesus left the throneroom of Heaven, where He'd shared the adoration of all the heavenly host with His Father.  He did that so all of us could have the opportunity of also experiencing Heaven.  He wasn't satisfied with allowing the creation He'd fashioned to remain in corruption and so He came for us.  There are countless stories of people laying down their lives so that others could survive.  From the front lines of fierce battles, to the exchange of healthy organs for diseased ones by selfless donors, to the voluntary construction of homes for families needing shelter, to missionaries giving up comfortable lives so that others might find the comforts of salvation...many have discovered that living for others is the surest path to satisfaction.  As we head into a new week we might sharpen our eyes to look for others in our lives that could use a touch from a person who is not wrapped tightly within themselves.  I spoke with an acquaintance recently who had decided to give his family van to a family in need of transportation.  His wife had noticed the need and said to him, "There is an opportunity to help."  Wouldn't it be great if we all lived "opportunistically" for Christ.  If each of us took our eyes off self and looked to serve, share and surrender self to benefit others the world might be changed and the self-centered culture surrounding us might be shattered.  I suppose to be "other centered" is the only way to live a "Christ centered" life.
Matthew 20:26 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Rob Smith

Saturday, October 9, 2010

lines of living

I am often around people with experience written on their faces.  When you are young your face is clear and unlined, like a page yet to be written.  There is a fresh and beautiful quality to that unlined face, something like the beauty of a showroom car that hasn't yet competed with commuters or carried youngsters with sticky fingers.  The face of a younger person shows the marvelous creative artistry of the Master's hand.  There is symmetry and clear definition of features and the form and function of God's design are displayed.  The colors of skin and hair are like the freshness of the artist's oil paint palette.  The face of an older person is lined and furrowed.  There is the obvious evidence of the weight of years of living and of coping with the challenges of life.  Gravity has mixed with grace to grow a different kind of beauty.  The lined face reflects the sustaining beauty of the Master's presence.   The colors of skin and hair are muted land the beauty emerges as from a pencil sketch.   We tend to worship the unlined beauty of the young as if this were the only definition of beauty.  Surely the beauty of a face that has weathered many seasons of life on the planet should be appreciated for its merits, as well.  As I gazed around at the lined faces of life's veterans recently, I realized that their faces carried character, implied wisdom and spoke volumes about humility.  There is one kind of beauty carried on the unlined faces of the young and there is another rich beauty etched on the faces of others.  Each has been shaped and sculpted and fashioned by the Master's Hand and each can appreciate and benefit from the beauty of the other.
Job 12:9 Who among all these does not know
      That the hand of the LORD has done this,

 10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
      And the breath of all mankind?

 11 Does not the ear test words
      And the mouth taste its food?

 12 Wisdom is with aged men,
      And with length of days, understanding.



Rob Smith

Friday, October 8, 2010

Marrow memory

We've all heard about something called "muscle memory".  Athletes train to throw a ball, sink a jump shot, or drive a golf ball off the tee by practicing the motions hundreds of times.  They hone the motions to a point where they happen automatically, when the opportunity arises, without conscious thought.  Of course we all experience muscle memory on a daily basis: from brushing our teeth, to shifting gears, to munching on a sandwich.  Last night, in choir practice, I discovered another similar kind of memory.   Ted Cornell asked if we knew a particular lively spiritual song from memory.  I had sung the song once over the past month but had performed it with the choir in the past.  At first I was uncertain that I knew the song...but after a quick scan of the words I knew it would come back.  You see, this song involves every part of your personality...your mind, heart, body movement and clapping.  Each vocal section has a special "standout" part.  In short, your whole personality gets involved as an individual singer and as a part of the larger choir.  As we started to sing, each upcoming phrase jumped into my mind just before I had to sing it and, without consciouis recall, the music just flowed out of somewhere deep within.  Somehow I don't think I had memorized the song...I think I had stored it deep in my bones.  One lively note and phrase led to the next in some kind of chain reaction and it was like a tape recording that started and played almost by itself.  So I decided to call this "bone memory" or "marrow memory" because the song wasn't stored in my mind or my had lodged deeper...somewhere down in my skeleton...deep in my bones.  You might say that the good songs really become a part of our being.  But then, you might also say that life is a song...and we are called to sing with our minds, muscles, heart...and bones every day!
Rob Smith

Thursday, October 7, 2010

divine re-boot

Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
It occurs to me that there really is only one thing to be done about sin...forgive it.  Sin is a wrong that has been done.  When a wrong has been done it is impossible to go back in time and undo or prevent it.  It is a fact that has become an experience that has led to consequences.  What is needed is a divine "re-set" button.  You know how you get frustrated with your computer because it continues to "sin" against you and "lock up" or disobey your commands.  At some point you give up trying to make the obstinate machine comply and you "re-set", "restart", or "reboot" the computer.  (I just had that happen in the middle of this email!)  We need a way to get "restarted" (or maybe "rebooted" is a better word for us stubborn creatures).  The only one who has the authority and ability to forgive, or restart us, after we sin is the one that we have sinned against.  If they are willing to hit the restart button and be patient to allow us to "begin again" in our relationship, then we can resume our relationship.  We need the Lord's forgiveness as we wrong Him and we need to forgive others as they wrong us.  We just have to realize that we need to "Re-boot, Re-sume, and Re-joice"  (Of course we also need to "Re-pent" to fully benefit from this wonderful fresh start).
Rob Smith 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

daily bread

Luke 11:2 So He said to them, "When you pray, say:

      Our Father in heaven,
      Hallowed be Your name.
      Your kingdom come.
      Your will be done
      On earth as it is in heaven.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
I remember when I was growing up that hippies called money "bread".  I like this because I think the Lord wants us to look at the money we need and all the other physical needs we have in the same way we look at bread.  Bread is best when it's fresh and spoils after a few days, if unrefrigerated.  We need bread and we need to eat pretty much on a daily basis and the Lord wants us to look to Him for our physical needs to be met on a daily basis.  Of course it is good and it is necessary to plan ahead...and to save for future needs.  But I suspect that we miss out on a blessing sometimes when we forget that a big part of the wonder of our personal walk with God is the way He meets our needs and sustains our lives each day.  In fact, I think you can even go to a narrower slice of time to appreciate this.  Consider the protection He provides when we sleep, and are unconscious beyond our dreams.  He is watching us...He is sustaining our bodies with the automatic functions of breathing, heart beat and other internal body processes...despite our lack of conscious participation.  I suppose our hearts beat about once per second...that means that we need Him to sustain us at least every second, as the brain and the nervous system trigger the next heart beat and the heart muscle properly responds with its rhythmic pump action to propel our lifeblood through our body.  When we pray the familiar prayer: "Give us his day our daily bread", we are bringing our appreciation for the Lord into our immediate living...our experience of life, real-time...we acknowledge that we need Him right Now and all the Now's that will make up this day, as we walk through it.  And so we are reminded that God is not distant...He is intimately involved in our lives...down to the finest slice of time and the smallest increment of living.
blessings to all those with heartbeats and appetites for bread,
Rob Smith

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

practical prayer

Luke 11:2-4 And He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed by your name.  Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation."
Thirty-seven words...that's how long the Lord's Prayer is in Luke (New American Standard Version).  And yet the people who broke the Bible into verses assigned three verses to the passage.  It seems that there are three main thoughts associated with the Prayer.  The first thought is that God is Holy and His Kingdom is also Holy.  "Your kingdom come":  three words that sum up the whole point of the Bible.  We were lost in sin and separated from God.  But then we were redeemed according to the ancient plan of God, through the sacrifice of His only Son.  He did this to tie together His creation (including us) with His heavenly kingdom...that we would be of one kingdom.  Yet, other kingdom's still compete for our affection, our attention and our very hearts.  The first step in our prayers is to align ourselves with the eternal Heavenly Kingdom that has been restored to us at such a great price.  We are in His kingdom...He is our holy king...His authority is what we bow before...His kind and holy care we gladly submit to.  The New King James  Version adds the familiar phrase: "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  It seems a starting point for prayer is our "alignment" with God and His Kingdom.  Perhaps our requests and the rest of our prayer will fall in line if our heart is first properly aligned with Him.
Rob Smith

Monday, October 4, 2010

returning to Heaven

I just had to return to Heaven this morning.  That is, I needed to return my thoughts and set my hopes on Heaven this morning.  I get frustrated with my inability to put God first and keep Him foremost in my thoughts.  So many "cares of this world" seem to sweep me away...and far too easily.  So, as I walked in the light morning rain and as night was reluctantly yielding to day I became quiet and listened for the Lord.  I thought about how, at this stage of life, with children raised, I have more time to see past the horizon of this earth-bound life.  I actually thought about the necessity of looking past this brief period that remains on earth, because there is an eternity to prepare for and it isn't far away.  I saw that one day I'll look back at this period in the flesh as a thin veil that seemed to be my entire existence, but that was just a moment in eternity's scale.  And as I considered the scope of eternity, I thought about how important it is...and how reassuring as well...that I am certain I will be with the Lord in that forever existence.  I returned to the words of Peter, once more, from the first chapter of his first epistle, where he wrote: (verses 3-6) Blessed  be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials
Having returned to Heaven, this morning, I was refreshed because I have this hope and so the words of Peter from chapter 1, verse 13 underlined the encouragement I felt: Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Having been to Heaven this morning, I am ready to reenter the world this week!
may the sure hope of Heaven be yours,
Rob Smith