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Posts Tagged ‘Christian encouragement’

My last remaining aunt passed away yesterday (at the time of this writing). She was my mom’s youngest sister at 88, but her health wasn’t good. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it always is. This passing. This finality.

The past few years have reduced the family generation above me to nothing. My dad’s been gone for twenty-five years, and even though he came from a large family, all his siblings and their spouses are also deceased.

Marg – Mom (2), Erna (5), Mary (1) Beth (4), Kay (3)

My mom was the second-born of five. The eldest passed a number of years before Mom, the third in line was next, but Mom carried on quite happily until her 95thyear. She passed beginning of November 2017, then her next youngest sister went in December, and her youngest sib left us this January.

And that’s it. The older generation is no more.

My brother and I spoke of this recently. “Everybody’s dying,” he said. I agreed, and added that our generation is next in line. It’s a sobering thought.

Aging is a process best understood, unfortunately, when our time is nearly up! Most of us find a comfortable age and continue to “live there” as long as our bodies allow us to deceive ourselves. Suddenly we are old, and have no idea how it happened.

There are several ways to handle this issue of mortality:

— ignore it…but it won’t go away

— embrace it…but you will age more quickly (I aged a lot when Mom lived with us her last year)

— gain a balanced perspective…we were not made for this world only

To further explain the third option, this life is short, and for many people on this earth, very difficult. I’ve been blessed with love and “more-than-enough” my whole life, and yet I can find things to complain about. But the point is, this life is only a training ground, a weeding out, if you will, for eternity.

Three generations: daughter Wendy, me, Mom

We were made for Eden, but we goofed it up big-time. Then the One who created us had mercy and took our punishment for our sin by sending His only Son—that’s Jesus—so we could be free from the penalty for our failure. And now, IF we accept His unmerited gift of grace, we can look forward to eternity in heaven as a reward for accepting mercy. How cool is that?

Yes, the journey may be unfamiliar, even frightening, but the destination will be worth it all.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,

for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

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51rZl2XpoxL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX324_SY324_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA346_SH20_OU15_A Traveler’s Advisory is a collection of fifty-two warm and encouraging anecdotes with spiritual messages and faith-based applications, one for each week of the year.

In this collection of devotional stories, Marcia shares some of the fascinating lessons she has learned over the course of her life, which has included many travels to places as diverse as the Yukon and Papua New Guinea. She records the vignettes in a simple, easy-to-understand manner so the reader can identify with the thoughts and feelings, the sights and sounds of the author’s experience.

The stories are divided into chapters with common themes:

* Chapter One: In the Air

* Chapter Two: On the Road

* Chapter Three: On Vacation

* Chapter Four: Faraway Places

The topics in this delightful book touch on God’s care, awareness of God’s daily gifts, Jesus as our source of joy, preparation for eternity, realization of who is in control of our lives, exposing our sin to the light of God’s forgiveness, and true security that is found only in God, to name a few.

For consistency, the book follows a simple format: first a story from Marcia’s cache, then a spiritual application, followed by relevant passages of Scripture to affirm her message.

The only thing I might wish for is a brief Table of Contents for chapter and story titles.

A Traveler’s Advisory is available in both digital and print copy. I would recommend it to any reader of any age, at any spiritual stage, and it would be an excellent gift.

Check out Marcia’s website for other books.

 

 

 

 

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